London

Daniel Morgan murder: Ex-detective wins damages from Met

Sidney Fillery Image copyright PA
Image caption Sidney Fillery was unfairly tried for perverting the course of justice on the evidence of one "doubtful witness", the High Court ruled

A former Metropolitan Police detective has won damages against the force after he was unfairly accused of perverting the course of justice.

Sidney Fillery was accused of the crime following the murder of private detective Daniel Morgan, who was found with an axe in his head outside a London pub in 1987.

But the High Court ruled Mr Fillery was unfairly prosecuted on the evidence of a "doubtful witness".

Damages have yet to be agreed.

The judge, Mr Justice Mitting, threw out the claims of three other men accused of carrying out the murder of Mr Morgan - who was found dead in the pub car park.

Daniel Morgan, from Llanfrechfa, near Cwmbran, worked for a private investigations agency, Southern Investigations, during the 1980s.

He was killed after leaving the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London.

Image caption Daniel Morgan was attacked shortly after drinking in this pub in south-east London

Mr Fillery's civil proceeding follows a series of failed police investigations into Mr Morgan's murder, which were dogged by allegations of police corruption.

Several investigations in 1990s and 2000s led to a prosecution being brought in 2011 against Mr Morgan's business partner, Jonathan Rees, and two brothers, Glenn and Gary Vian.

But the case collapsed and it emerged a senior police officer, Det Supt David Cook, had established improper contact with a witness and concealed it from prosecutors.

As a result, Mr Fillery and the three others claimed the Met had falsely and maliciously prosecuted them.

Image caption The killing of Daniel Morgan, a father-of-two, remains unsolved despite several police investigations

Mr Justice Mitting decided Det Supt Cook "deliberately withheld" details of his contact with the witness from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - which decided to press charges.

He concluded this amounted to '"misfeasance in public office" but said it was the decision of the CPS as to whether to prosecute all four men, not the Met.

He added the prosecution would have gone ahead even if the evidence of the tainted witness had been left out.

But Mr Justice Mitting found Mr Fillery was prosecuted entirely on this witness's evidence, which made his prosecution unfair.

The Daniel Morgan case remains unsolved and is the subject of an independent Home Office inquiry

In a statement, Mr Morgan's brother Alistair said the case had "focussed simply on the conduct of David Cook."

"Whatever the conclusions of this judgement, we consider that it would be a travesty of justice if David Cook is allowed to become the scapegoat for the failures of the Metropolitan Police over the decades in failing to confront the police corruption that lay at the heart of this case," he added.

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