Husband charged over wife’s death in 2004

Colette Davies
Colette Davies

A 50-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with murder and fraud – seven years after the death of his wife.

John Clifton Davies was arrested at his home in Milton Keynes on Thursday and was taken to Cardiff Police Station for questioning.

His wife, 39-year-old Colette Davies, of Bridgend, Wales, was found dead close to the Giri River Bridge in Himachal Pradesh, India, in February 2004.

The couple had been on a delayed honeymoon after marrying 14 months earlier.

A week after they arrived in India, Colette fell from a viewing point at a steep gorge.

Her body was returned to the UK where her funeral took place at Coychurch Crematorium, Bridgend, in March 2004.

The decision to bring charges came following consultation between South Wales Police and the Crown Prosecution Service after a joint investigation with the Himachal Pradesh State Police in Northern India.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Mark Lewis, said: “I am extremely grateful to the Himachal Pradesh State Police for the support we have had in investigating this tragic death. I am also grateful to the public for their support.

“Although a person has been charged with murder I repeat my earlier appeal for any information surrounding the circumstances of Colette Davies’ death.

“Colette’s family have been informed of this positive development and will continue to be supported by Family Liaison Officers.”

Mr Davies’ was due to appear at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning.

Felicity Galvin, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Cymru-Wales, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely alongside South Wales Police as their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Colette Davies’ death in 2004 has progressed.

“We can now confirm that, having carefully examined a file of evidence provided by South Wales Police, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge John Clifton Davies with the murder of Colette Davies and that it is in the public interest to do so. Accordingly, we have advised South Wales Police to charge him with murder and also with two offences of fraud.

“Whilst the murder charge relates to an offence alleged to have been committed in India, the law of England and Wales allows for British nationals to be tried in this country if the victim of the offence is also a British national.

“John Clifton Davies now stands charged with extremely serious criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be published that could prejudice that trial.”

> Anyone with information about Colette’s death can call the South Wales Police Incident Room on 01639 889732 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.