South Wales Police apology 70 years after hanging injustice Mahmood Mattan spoke very little English and could not read or write in the language

The family of a father who was wrongly convicted of murder have been given a police apology 70 years after he was executed in a British prison.

Mahmood Mattan, a British Somali and former seaman, was hanged in 1952 after he was convicted of killing shopkeeper Lily Volpert in her store in Cardiff.

His conviction was the first Criminal Case Review Commission referral to be quashed at the Court of Appeal in 1998.

South Wales Police have apologised and admitted the prosecution was “flawed”.

“This is a case very much of its time – racism, bias and prejudice would have been prevalent throughout society, including the criminal justice system,” said its chief constable, Jeremy Vaughan.

“There is no doubt that Mahmood Mattan was the victim of a miscarriage of justice as a result of a flawed prosecution, of which policing was clearly a part.

“It is right and proper that an apology is made on behalf of policing for what went so badly wrong in this case 70 years ago and for the terrible suffering of Mr Mattan’s family and all those affected by this tragedy for many years.”

Mattan’s wife Laura and their three sons David, Omar and Mervyn, who was also known as Eddie, campaigned for 46 years after his execution for his name to be cleared.

They have all since died and while the family welcomed an apology, one of his six grandchildren has called it “insincere.”

“It’s far too late for the people directly affected as they are no longer with us and still, we are yet to hear the words I am/we are sorry,” said granddaughter Tanya Mattan.

The Mattan family received compensation from the Home Office in 2001 but never had an apology from the police force until now.

Detectives from Cardiff City Police, which is part of the now South Wales Police force, investigated the brutal killing of Ms Volpert inside her family outfitters and haberdashery shop in the docks area of Cardiff on 6 March 1952.

The well-known 41-year-old businesswoman had her throat cut while her mother, sister and niece were in the next room of the property in Cardiff’s old Tiger Bay area. – BBC

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