Author Topic: Dad of kids murdered alongside mum and grandma breaks silence after 21 years  (Read 185 times)

Auntie Cee

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Dad of kids murdered alongside mum and grandma breaks silence after 21 years

Mandy Power, her mum Doris Dawson and her daughters Katie and Emily were murdered at their home in Clydach, near Swansea, by David Morris but a BBC Wales Investigates programme this week will claim it has new evidence which questions the safety of the conviction

By Rod Minchin & Joseph WilkesReporter

21:13, 20 OCT 2020Updated21:23, 20 OCT 2020

The father of two children murdered alongside their mother and grandmother has broken his 21-year silence to speak of the devastating impact of the crimes.  Mandy Power, 34, her bed-ridden mother Doris Dawson, 80, and her daughters Katie, 10, and Emily, eight, were found dead by firefighters at their home in Clydach, near Swansea, in June 1999.  All four had been bludgeoned to death with a pole before their house was set on fire.  Former builder David Morris was jailed for a minimum of 32 years having been convicted for a second time of their murders in 2006.  An earlier conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal when a second trial was ordered.  Michael Power, who had married Ms Power in 1986 before the marriage broke down, said: "It's been a harrowing 21 years for my family and I."

Mr Power was speaking ahead of the broadcasting of the BBC Wales Investigates programme this week which claims it has new evidence which questions the safety of the conviction of Morris.  He was arrested after the finger of suspicion wrongly pointed to Ms Power's lover Alison Lewis.  Former policewoman Ms Lewis and her former husband Stephen, an officer with South Wales Police, were arrested on suspicion of murder a year after the deaths.  Mr Lewis's brother Stuart, also a police officer, was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.  They were all released without charge.  Mrs Dawson was beaten to death with a heavy fibreglass pole. When Mandy and her daughters arrived home, they were killed in identical, sadistic fashion.  Morris sexually assaulted and killed Ms Power before inflicting devastating head injuries on her daughters.  He then washed his clothes in the shower before starting several fires around the house to try to cover his tracks.  When firefighters and the police arrived they found the bodies of the victims laid out in the hall.  Found at the scene was a bloodstained gold necklace which Morris eventually admitted was his.  He claimed, however, it was broken and he'd left it in Ms Power's house after going around there for a coffee.  His murder trial heard how someone had bought Morris a new chain on his behalf, and how Morris had rubbed it in cement and damaged the clasp to make it look more like his old one.  Three others were arrested and questioned before Morris was eventually charged with the murders, and convicted in 2002.  That conviction was later quashed by the Court of Appeal after it found he had not received a fair trial due to a conflict of interest.  In their statement released today the family of Doris and Mandy state: "In June, 1999, our mother Doris, sister Mandy and our nieces Katie and Emily were cruelly taken from us and contrary to books, campaigns and media coverage claiming him to be innocent the person who committed these murders was David George Morris.  Morris was found guilty in Swansea Crown court in 2002 and he was later only granted an appeal on the basis of a conflict of interest.  At a retrial at Newport Crown Court in 2006 Morris was convicted for a second time and was sentenced to life imprisonment.  Following on from these trials the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which is totally independent from South Wales Police, has made three separate reviews of the case and has found no grounds for an appeal due to there being no new evidence.  Claims that there is new evidence and witnesses have come forward are unfounded as these matters were dealt with in both trials and require no further consideration.  As a family who sat in court every day listening to all evidence against Morris, we would like to make it very clear that there is or never will be any doubts in our minds that the right person is behind bars and thatís David George Morris.  It has been very upsetting for our family, children and grandchildren seeing campaigns and hearing people claiming heís innocent.  Every day we live with the heartbreak of the loss of our family.  Katie and Emily were only 10 and eight when they were murdered they were never given the chance to grow up and have their own families, unlike Morris who has the privilege of seeing his children and grandchildren.  We have always said we will fight for our family, but we never expected to be fighting 21 years on."

A campaign is ongoing claiming that Morris is innocent of the crimes and calling for his release.  In 2017 there was also a book published by former solicitor John Morris called The Clydach Murders: A Miscarriage of Justice.  At a previous meeting of the campaign to free Morris, John Morris said: "Whether you like David Morris or not doesnít really matter.  Looking at the case from a totally objective point of view I can only come to the conclusion that he must be innocent.  We have to produce new evidence that was not available at the time of the conviction, and that is getting harder and harder as time goes by."

*  The Clydach Murders: Beyond Reasonable Doubt will be broadcast on Thursday.