John Pope convicted of Karen Skipper murder after retrial

21/07/2011

After a retrial at Cardiff Crown Court, a jury today found John Pope guilty of the murder of Karen Skipper in Cardiff in 1996.

The body of Mrs Skipper was found in the River Ely in 1996. In 1997, Mrs Skipper's husband Phillip stood trial for the murder and was acquitted. In 2009, John Pope was tried and convicted of Mrs Skipper's murder. He appealed against his conviction and the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.

Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wales Complex Case Unit, Grenville Barker, said:

"The decision of the jury today has vindicated the decisions to investigate and prosecute John Pope for the murder of Karen Skipper through two trials.

"As the final chapter in these criminal proceedings closes with the conviction and imprisonment of Karens killer, we also hope today's verdict will bring an element of comfort to her family and friends.

"Following John Pope's original conviction in 2009, a witness came forward to inform the police that her original statement, which was reviewed as part of the case against John Pope, was materially incorrect in an important aspect. 

"These matters were raised by the defence team through the appeal process, which is an invaluable element of the criminal justice system.

"At the same time, new experiments were conducted jointly by scientists instructed by the prosecution and defence.  These related to the discovery of John Pope's blood on Karen Skipper's discarded clothing at the scene of the murder. The results of these experiments were submitted to the Court of Appeal.

"As a result of a review of matters arising since the 2009 jury verdict, the Court of Appeal decided that, in the interests of justice, a retrial should take place.

"During the course of the last five weeks, a jury has reconsidered the original evidence in the case alongside the new evidence that came to light after John Pope's conviction in 2009. They have concluded that John Pope is guilty of Karen Skipper's murder.