Daniel Morgan: Axe-murder victim's family set to sue the Met

  • Published
Daniel MorganImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
The death of Daniel Morgan in 1987 is Britain's most-investigated unsolved murder

The family of a private investigator, whose 1987 murder remains unsolved, are preparing to take legal action against the Metropolitan Police.

Daniel Morgan was found with an axe in his head in a pub car park in Sydenham.

Despite five police inquiries, no-one has been convicted of his murder.

In June, an independent panel accused the Met of institutional corruption, and Mr Morgan's family say they are "saddened if not surprised" there has been no follow-up action.

The force has previously admitted the original investigation into the killing of the 37-year-old father-of-two, from Llanfrechfa, south Wales, was hampered by corruption.

The Morgan family, who have tolerated more than two decades of fruitless investigations, said they had been "let down again" by both the police and those bodies able to hold the force to account.

They are particularly critical of Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, and the decision to extend her term in office.

Six months ago they welcomed the 1,250 page report and hoped the police would "confront and challenge the culture of corruption and cover-up" it identified.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Alastair Morgan has spent 34 years campaigning for justice for his brother

But in a new statement the family said they were "saddened - if not surprised" to realise they had been "let down again by all concerned" - both the police force and the bodies which oversee it: the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), the Mayor's Office for Police and Crime, and the Home Office.

Dame Cressida was criticised by the panel who found she had obstructed their work. But shortly after the report was published, both the home secretary and the mayor of London agreed to extend her term in office.

The Morgan family said that no family should have to go through what they have had to suffer. They say that they are "no longer able" to place their trust in the police, the state or any other form of authority in this country.

Mr Morgan's brother Alastair has been campaigning since 1987 for justice, accompanied for many years by their mother Isobel Hulsmann.

Image source, Britt-Marie Pettersson
Image caption,
Daniel Morgan, his wife Iris, Justin McCarthy, Jane Morgan and Alastair Morgan

Mr Morgan's son, also called Daniel, was aged just four when his father was killed. He spoke about the case for the first time after the panel published its report, and the Met apologised.

Now the family say there is no option but to bring a civil claim against the Met "in order to achieve some semblance of accountability". A letter of claim has been sent to the force.

The Met acknowledged it had received the document but added that a "dedicated team" within the Met had been established to respond to the recommendations of the panel. Its progress is expected to be reported to the home secretary and the mayor of London by spring 2022.

The IOPC said its own investigation was ongoing, although it had not received any allegations of corruption from the Met and would determine whether "there are any conduct matters identified within the report for any named police officer, including the Met commissioner".

The Home Office said the home secretary had asked the independent police inspectorate (HMICFRS) to "look into the Metropolitan Police's approach to counter-corruption".

It said the extension of the current commissioner's contract would provide "continuity" as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor of London's office for policing said it would continue ensure the independent panel's recommendations were implemented in full.

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