David Morris, the man convicted of the Clydach murders, has died in prison, it has been confirmed.
Morris murdered three generations of the same family in Kelvin Road, Clydach, in the Swansea Valley in 1999.
He has has spent 22 years behind bars for the killings of Mandy Power, her two young daughters – Katie, aged 10, and Emily, aged eight – and her 80-year-old mother Doris Dawson. He was being held at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire.
A Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Long Lartin prisoner David Morris died on August 20. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.” The cause of death is now a matter for the coroner.
The brutal killing prompted one of the biggest murder investigations ever by a Welsh Police force. The investigation led to the conviction of local man Morris on two occasions – firstly at Swansea Crown Court in 2002, a verdict which was overturned on appeal, and then subsequently following a retrial at Newport Crown Court in 2006.
In 2018 a bid to take his case to the Court of Appeal was rejected by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
But Morris and his family have always maintained his innocence – even though Ms Power’s former husband has said he agreed with the trial verdict.
They have campaigned for potential new evidence to be re-examined by the police and the CPS. Some of that evidence featured in a recent BBC documentary in which possible new witnesses came forward.
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In January South Wales Police opened the way for a review of fresh claims raised by lawyers for Morris. South Wales Police reiterated its confidence in Morris’s conviction but said it would appoint an independent investigating officer and an independent forensic scientist to oversee a forensic review of the specific areas raised by Morris’s legal representatives.
But the family’s efforts hit a setback last month when, following an independent investigating officer’s consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service over potential new evidence, it was “determined that this evidence did not undermine the conviction of Mr Morris’.
However investigations into forensic issues challenged in the BBC documentary into the crimes have yet to be completed.
After that decision Janiene Morris, one of David Morris’s two daughters, said: “This is another massive blow to dad’s case and as a family we just don’t understand it.”
She said the evidence of a taxi driver who had sighted unidentified people near the murder scene had been discounted. In all she said there were three witnesses that had placed others near the murder scene on the night of the killings.
“We’ve never met them and don’t want to because we want to do things properly. These witnesses have no involvement with anyone in the case and have absolutely no reason to lie. I cannot express how angry and frustrated we are right now. It is so frustrating but we’re not going to take it lying down,” she said.
In July the family were told they finally had permission to visit Morris at HMP Long Lartin. They had not been able to visit him since December 2019 – just before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Janiene said then: “He is up and down. He has good days and and bad days. Sometimes he is just exhausted with everything that is going on. We are looking forward to seeing him.”
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