Daniel Morgan: Met police issues statement and agrees to settlement

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The case led to five investigations but no convictions

The Met police has apologised to the family of Daniel Morgan, a private investigator who was murdered in 1987.

Mr Morgan, 37, was found with an axe in his head in the car park of a pub in Sydenham, south-east London 36 years ago. Now, The Metropolitan police have admitted liability for its errors and corruption.

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Daniel Morgan (The Metropolitan Police)Daniel Morgan (The Metropolitan Police)
Daniel Morgan (The Metropolitan Police) | The Metropolitan Police

The Met has also agreed on a settlement, which includes an admission of liability over the officer's response to his murder. His family have endured four failed murder investigations and two failed prosecutions.

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley apologised "unequivocally and unreservedly" for failing to bring the killers to justice and said the family had been "repeatedly and inexcusably let down".

The family were given "empty promises and false hope" as five investigations failed, at a cost of around £40m.

Mr Morgan's family believes he was about to expose police corruption before he was murdered.

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Sir Mark said: "This case has been marred by a cycle of corruption, professional incompetence, and defensiveness that has repeated itself over and over again.

"Daniel Morgan's family were given empty promises and false hope as successive investigations failed and the Metropolitan Police prioritised its reputation at the expense of transparency and effectiveness."

A 2021 independent panel found the Met had repeatedly covered up its failings to protect its reputation and was "institutionally corrupt", and that it was unlikely anyone would be brought to justice.

The commissioner's statement on the settlement said that "no words can do justice to the pain and suffering that has been a feature of the family's lives for more than three decades, as they have fought for justice".

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"Their tenacious campaigning has exposed multiple and systemic failings in this organisation.

"I have met with the family and listened to vivid and moving accounts of the devastating impact those failings have had on their lives.

"They have explained how their trust in policing has been eroded. The personal commitment I made to tackling corruption in this organisation when I took over as commissioner has never been stronger."

Mr Morgan, who was a father of two, was found by a BBC sound producer in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, where he had met for a drink with his business partner, Jonathan Rees, on 10 March 1987.

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He was lying face up with an axe embedded in his head. His watch had been stolen, but his wallet had been left and a large sum of money was still in his jacket pocket.

The pocket of his trousers had been torn open and notes he had earlier been seen writing were missing.

Sir Mark's words show another admission of failings at the Met, coming soon after it had to apologise over its investigation into the Stephen Lawrence murder.

Former commissioner Dame Cressida Dick also apologised in 2021 after a report into the Morgan case identified "multiple very significant failings" and "a form of corruption".

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The police watchdog reviewed the various investigations into the murder last year, and singled out lost opportunities in 1987 and 1988.

Six men, including three who were then serving police officers, were arrested but it did not lead to any charges.

"The management of that initial investigation was very poor," said His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

"And there was strong suspicion that at least some of those who were to be arrested were alerted beforehand through the improper disclosure of information (a 'tip off')."

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