Daniel Morgan murder: Case 'has tarnished all our lives', brother says, as damning report published

  • Watch the video report by ITV Wales national correspondent Rob Osborne

The brother of murdered private investigator Daniel Morgan says the unsolved case has "tarnished all of our lives" as an independent report found the Metropolitan Police put protecting its own reputation above finding his killer of a Welsh private investigator.

The panel accused the Metropolitan Police of “a form of institutional corruption” for concealing or denying failings over Mr Morgan's unsolved murder.

Daniel Morgan, from Monmouthshire, was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London, on March 10 1987.

The father-of-two's murder became one of Scotland Yard's longest-running cold cases.

Despite five police inquiries and an inquest, no-one has been brought to justice, with the Metropolitan Police admitting corruption had hampered the original murder investigation.

Daniel Morgan was killed with an axe in the car park of this London pub in March 1987.

In 2013, then-Home Secretary Theresa May announced that an independent panel was being set up to examine the case.

Speaking ahead of its publication, Daniel's brother Alastair Morgan said he expected long-awaited report to contain “a sizeable chapter on corruption”.

Mr Morgan said, "It has tarnished all of our lives.

"We haven't let it defeat us - we've tried to take pleasure in life where we can - but it's been like a millstone."

Daniel's brother Alastair Morgan says he hopes the report will find institutionalised corruption within the police.

The publication of the report follows a furious row between the Home Office, Independent Panel and Mr Morgan’s family over its release, which was originally due to take place in May.

After eight years in the making, the Home Office said that it may need to redact parts of the document on national security or human rights grounds.

But the panel said it had already worked with lawyers and security experts from the Metropolitan Police, calling the last-minute intervention “unnecessary” and “not consistent with the panel’s independence”.

Mr Morgan’s family said the move was a “kick in the teeth”, and called on Home Secretary Priti Patel to consider the distress the delay caused them.

An agreement was eventually reached that a small Home Office team could read the report in advance, and last week it was confirmed that the full, unredacted report would be published.

The panel's remit was to address questions relating to the murder, including police handling of the case, the role corruption played in protecting Mr Morgan's killer, and the links between private investigators, police and journalists connected to the case.

The Met owes Mr Morgan's family, and the public, an apology for not confronting its systemic failings and those of individual officers, the report said.

In a statement through their lawyer, the family of Mr Morgan said: "We welcome the recognition that we - and the public at large - have been failed over the decades by a culture of corruption and cover up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day." 

"It has tarnished my relationship with the British state," Alastair said.

"I feel I don't trust Britain any longer."

Mr Morgan's murder became one of Scotland Yard's longest-running cold cases.

A series of police investigations have been held into the murder in the last three-and-a-half decades.

  • In February 1989 Mr Morgan's business partner Jonathan Rees and his associate Paul Goodridge were charged with murder, and Mr Goodridge's girlfriend Jean Wisden was charged with perverting the course of justice.

  • But three months later the case was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service, and Mr Goodridge went on to sue Hampshire Constabulary over the charge.

  • Later, in 2008, five people were charged in relation to the case - Mr Rees, his brothers-in-law Glenn and Gary Vian, and an associate James Cook, were charged with Mr Morgan's murder, while former police officer Sid Fillery was charged with perverting the course of justice.

  • But police failures in disclosing evidence and handling of key witnesses led to the prosecution collapsing by March 2011.

  • Eight years later in 2019, Mr Rees and the Vian brothers were each awarded six-figure sums in damages after suing the Metropolitan Police for malicious prosecution.

  • It is estimated that the five police inquiries cost around £30 million, while according to statements posted on its website, the panel itself - chaired by former Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, Baroness Nuala O'Loan - cost just over £14.1 million up to the end of 2019/20.

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