Man Accused Of Wife's Murder Is Cleared

20 March 2013, 13:02 | Updated: 20 March 2013, 13:14

A man from Milton Keynes accused of murdering his wife on their honeymoon to India so he could claim life insurance has been cleared of all charges.

51 year old John Clifton Davies walked free from court after spending the last 16 months in custody.

39 year old Collette Davies from Bridgend in south Wales, plunged 80ft to her death from a viewing platform over a steep gorge at an Indian beauty spot in February 2004.

Mr Davies was charged with her murder and two related fraud counts more than seven years later.

He was due to stand trial at Cardiff Crown Court next month where his legal team had said he would "vigorously deny'' all charges.

But formal not guilty verdicts for all counts were recorded today at a brief hearing at Cardiff Crown Court.

It followed a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to offer no evidence in the case.

Felicity Galvin, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Wales, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with South Wales Police as their investigation into the 2004 death of Colette Davies has developed.

"In November 2011 the CPS advised that, based on the evidence available at that time, John Clifton Davies should be charged with murder and two counts of fraud. As is normal in cases such as this, the police investigation continued after charges were laid.

"As part of that investigation, officers from South Wales Police recently visited the Himachal Pradesh region of India.

"During that visit the police became aware of significant new information including statements from two people, who had not previously come forward, who could potentially provide direct eyewitness evidence. This new information could be said to undermine the prosecution case.

"In the light of these developments, the CPS reviewed the case again and concluded that the evidential requirements laid out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are no longer met in relation to both the murder and fraud charges.

"As a result, prosecution counsel has formally advised the court that we are offering no evidence against John Clifton Davies in this case.

"All parties involved have been fully informed of these developments.''