Forensic evidence has been discovered that supports the conviction of a man found guilty of murdering three generations of the same family in south Wales more than 20 years ago, police have claimed.
A review of the case of David “Dai” Morris, who was jailed for four murders in the Swansea valley village of Clydach, was launched after his legal team, family members and a television documentary raised doubts about the safety of the conviction.
On Monday, South Wales police said that fresh examination of a sock that was used by the killer as a glove using new forensic techniques supported the conviction of Morris, who died aged 59 in prison in August.
Supporters of Morris immediately dismissed the findings, his sister Debra Thomas, said they would continue to clear her brother’s name. “We will fight on, 100%,” she said. “Any fool can see through what they are saying.”
Morris was found guilty of bludgeoning to death Mandy Power, 34, her daughters Katie, 10, and Emily, eight, and her 80-year-old mother Doris Dawson in 1999, and was sentenced to 32 years.
He always protested his innocence and police decided to look again material including the sock after a request from Morris’ legal team requesting the release of various exhibits from the investigation and after a BBC Wales documentary, The Clydach Murders: Beyond Reasonable Doubt, which examined whether there had been a miscarriage of justice.
The police review – carried out under the banner of Operation Dolomite – was led by detectives Steve Carey and Ian Ringrose, supported by forensic expert David Lloyd, all of whom are from Devon and Cornwall police.
Following Morris’ death on 20 August 2021, permission was given by his family to obtain a blood sample to help the forensic examinations.
The team used a technique called Y-STR profiling, which specifically targets male DNA. It is regarded as particularly useful for detecting and analysing a male individual’s DNA in a sample that contains a mixture of male and female cellular material.
Carey said samples obtained from two areas of the sock at the time of the original investigation showed it was “more likely that David Morris or a close paternal-line male relative of his contributed DNA to them than if he did not.”
He said: “This is significant as the sock was recovered from the murder scene and it was widely accepted that it was used by the killer. In my view, the new findings from the samples taken from the sock support the existing evidence that originally convicted him.”
Assistant chief constable David Thorne, of South Wales police, said: “Morris was convicted unanimously by a jury on the strength of the prosecution case and independent reviews by the Criminal Cases Review Commission have never identified any evidence which would determine the conviction to be unsafe.
“However, the advancement of forensic technology has provided the opportunity for evidence-based answers to some of the questions which have been raised.”