Image from PA
In 2000, Rachel Manning, 19, was on a night out with her boyfriend. They had an argument and went their separate ways. She went missing and her body was found some days later at a golf club, in the undergrowth. She had been strangled and her face had been disfigured with a steering lock, which was later found some 500m away.
First trial: Barri White
Barri White, Rachel’s boyfriend, was arrested and charged with her murder. He was tried and convicted in 2002. A co-accused was convicted of perverting the course of justice (moving the body). White was given a life sentence with a 15-year minimum term. White had claimed he was at the co-accused’s house at the time of the murder. In 2003 there was a BBC Rough Justice programme about the case.
Mr White appealed and in 2007 he had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal. His co-accused’s conviction was also quashed. John Coffey QC, defending, said: “It is quite clear now that the jury (at the first trial) were seriously misled about the significance of these scientific findings.”
Second trial: Barri White
Barri White stood to be retried after the decision of the Court of Appeal to quash the conviction. The trial began in early 2008. After the forensic evidence was questioned, White was acquitted at the second trial.
Mr Shahidul Ahmed
Mr Ahmed, 41, was arrested in relation to a sexual assault (and subsequently convicted). When his DNA profile was obtained it proved to be a match for the profile found on the steering lock.
Third trial: Shaidul Ahmed
Earlier this year, Mr Ahmed was tried for murder. The DNA evidence linking Ahmed to Rachel’s body and to the steering lock was questioned.
The jury were unable to reach a verdict and they were dismissed. There would be another retrial.
Fourth trial: Shaidul Ahmed
The fourth trial, and second retrial, began this week.
The trial continues.