NEWS – “without comment”

Posted by: Ian (D. Withers)

“In 1997, retired detective Derek Haslam was recruited as a Met spy and during his nine years undercover he spied on the family of private investigator Daniel Morgan, murdered ten years earlier.”

Interesting article in respect of PI Daniel Morgan RIP – Murdered in South London March 1987.

Many prior News “without comment” Postings refer:

Daniel John Morgan was a British private investigator who was murdered with an axe in a pub car park in London in 1987.

Despite several Metropolitan Police investigations, arrests, and trial, the crime remains unsolved. Wikipedia


How Reliable Is The Former Police Spy Helping Doreen Lawrence

APR 30, 2023

Suppurating allegations of police corruption during the 1983 Brinks Mat gold bullion robbery have erupted at the High Court in the legal claims that Baroness Doreen Lawrence and actor Hugh Grant are respectively bringing against the Daily Mail and The Sun.

The allegations are contained in witness statements made last month by Derek Haslam, a former Metropolitan police detective, who is supporting the claim that Lawrence and Grant were bugged, burgled and spied on by private investigators working for the tabloids.

Haslam, however, is no slam dunk witness but someone who occupies a controversial and complicated space in the dark corners of Met.

As such, his cross examination will be another highlight in the legal showdown having dealt himself into the battle.

To some, mainly the Hacked Off anti-press lobby led by Grant and a rum cast of characters previously exposed by this newsletter, Haslam is something of an all-out hero.

The narrative goes that he was a ‘good cop’ trying to do the right thing who got burned by the institutional corruption of the force he once served.

In other words, the Met had failed to properly investigate allegations of corruption that Haslam brought to its attention concerning a commander linked to some of south London’s finest villains, including Kenny Noye, who laundered the Brinks gold.

To others, Haslam is a rat, a grass, who broke the blue wall of silence by doing “a Serpico” – the New York detective who in the early Seventies blew the whistle leading the Knapp Commission to find rot at the core of big apple cops.

In between these two positions, is another view of Derek Haslam, a more nuanced one: That he is part Serpico and part Zelig – the fictional lead in Woody Allen’s mockumentary about a man searching for significance by inserting himself into historical events.

It is ironic that Baroness Lawrence should now rely on Derek Haslam. Why? Because Haslam was a police spy who did to another murder victim’s family what the Met did to hers.

Within months of Stephen Lawrence’s racist murder in April 1993, the Met spied on the grieving family using undercover officers to infiltrate the campaigns for justice.

In 1997, retired detective Derek Haslam was recruited as a Met spy and during his nine years undercover he spied on the family of private investigator Daniel Morgan, murdered ten years earlier.

The family’s campaign for justice was undermined at every turn by the Met and crime remains unsolved.

The Morgan family eventually received some justice in 2021 when an independent panel’s comprehensive report concluded there was “institutional corruption” in the Met’s response to the murder.

That report also raised important questions about the veracity of Derek Haslam, whose claims were trumpeted by Hacked Off and “Byline” and now lawyers representing Grant and Lawrence.

Haslam’s recent witness statements are long on bold assertions that the two claimants were bugged and burgled, but short on details. He claims he repeatedly raised the matter with his handlers but it was “covered up”.

However, according to a well-placed source with access to the secret intelligence reports that Haslam wrote to his Met handlers between 1998 and 2006, these recent bold assertions are nowhere to be found.

One name, however, that does appear in both the recent witness statements and those secret intelligence reports is that of Ray Adams.

He’s the Met commander who was investigated back in the late Eighties for corruption that Haslam had reported.

The now octogenarian Adams has not taken kindly to seeing his name in Haslam’s witness statement and is speaking to the tabloids’ lawyers to make one of his own.

Over the years, “The Upsetter” has spoken to Adams and Haslam. The recent developments caused this newsletter to revisit the files that underpinned the writing of Untouchables, where Haslam’s story was first told back in 2004.

Only later did “The Upsetter” learn and expose that he was a police spy who also reported back on the activities of this journalist.

This month, over some Norwegian smoked salmon and a few pints of Guinness at his local, Ray Adams, broke his long silence to talk Brinks Mat, Kenny Noye, Daniel Morgan, Freemasonry, the Lawrence murder and his “nemesis” Derek Haslam.

Here’s a flick of what’s to come if these legal claims by Baroness Lawrence, Hugh Grant, Prince Harry and other celebrities are allowed to continue to a full trial.

By April 1987, the Met and Central Criminal Court were still dealing with the fallout from the Brinks Mat robbery.

It was the largest heist of its kind at the time in the UK and left those not behind bars having to smelt and launder £26m of gold bullion here and abroad.

That month, detective constable Derek Haslam gave the Met’s anti-corruption squad several tape recordings of an informant drug dealer alleging that Commander Ray Adams was on the payroll.

This mattered because Adams was the head of SO11 at the time, the Met’s intelligence gathering and covert surveillance department, and had been involved in the Brinks Mat investigation through Kenny Noye.

The Kent-based villain had been acquitted of murdering a surveillance officer embedded in the grounds of his home, but was serving a 14-year sentence for his part in the so-called Gold Conduit that smelted and laundered the bullion.

On Noye’s arrest for murdering the undercover cop in January 1985, he was visited by two senior officers.

The first was detective chief superintendent Brian Boyce, the head of the Brinks investigation, who reported how Noye gave him a masonic handshake and then offered a one million pound bribe put anywhere in the world.

The second was commander Adams. He told “The Upsetter” that deputy assistant commissioner Brian Worth tasked him to see if Noye had a deal in mind that involved returning the gold.

“Noye respects you,” is how it was put by Worth, Adams recalls. The reason for the respect was because Adams had arrested Noye in the Seventies who was willing to give up information on others in return for a lighter sentence.

That there is no honour among thieves is not surprising, most villains grass at some point albeit for different reasons. More revealing is that the Met was willing to trade the killing of a police officer for gold.

Adams says he regrets ever agreeing to see Noye in the cells, because it led to a second allegation that the pair were in a corrupt relationship.

Haslam’s allegations about Adams obviously came at a bad time for the Met. They were made worse when Haslam identified to the anti-corruption squad a detective, friend and fellow freemason who, he said, if handled properly, could give them Adams.

This was detective constable Alan ‘Taffy’ Holmes who was on the Brinks investigation and was shacked up with the ex-wife of Henry Burgess, a south London armed robber, who was a contact of Adams.

According to Adams, it was Holmes who escorted Noye to the court cells when a deal over the return of the gold was discussed. Adams believes Holmes must have told Haslam that it had been a private meeting with Noye, when he says someone from the Brinks investigation was also present.

Adams certainly knew Holmes and descried him as an alcoholic who would say anything if you poured him a drink. “One was too many and one hundred was not enough,” he said.

Adams accepts that he had met Holmes while under investigation. It was, he said, a chance encounter at the back of his garden which backed on to a golf course where Holmes went shooting for rabbits.

Adams also says on another occasion he learned that Holmes wanted to talk and they met with Burgess and his ex-wife Jean where the swirl of corruption allegations surrounding them was discussed, although Holmes was almost mute.

Adams said that Henry Burgess was not his informant but claimed to have once paid a bribe to Holmes and two other detectives:

“We obviously had a relationship. He was never my guy. He once said to me, ‘I’d like to help you with your career.’ He never gave me chapter and verse. Jean was protecting Taffy by bad-mouthing me.”

Burgess is now dead and can’t give his side of the story, were he willing to. But Adams insists there was nothing corrupt and when they met abroad on holiday it was coincidence.

“[Burgess] said, ‘You know where I am and I now know where you are.’ We chatted for some time and that was it. I have nothing to hide.”

In the end, Haslam’s warning about how the anti-corruption squad should handle Holmes wasn’t heeded, or at least not sufficiently. After his arrest, Holmes apparently went looking for Haslam with a gun and in July 1987 turned it on himself.

In the suicide note, Haslam was denounced for doing “a Serpico”. More death threats followed, which had already caused Haslam to move his family. False rumours followed that he had called Holmes to a meeting on a golf course and secretly taped his friend admitting corruption.

In January 1990, the director of public prosecutors announced Adams would face no criminal charges. Nor was he disciplined by the Met but returned to a role in the force’s inspectorate.

It was there, a few years later, that he received his last contact with Noye, who was on day release and apparently calling from a phone box. Adams says he reported the call, which went like this:

Mr Adams, it’s Kenny Noye. What do you want? [A senior officer] came to prison and asked me about you. What could you say? I told him you were a good guy. When I get out what we’ll do is I’ll get a boat and we’ll go diving.”

Adams retired from the Met in August 1993 with a bad back. One of his last acts was to sign a reply to a letter of complaint from the Lawrence family’s lawyer months after the murder.

The letter was his only involvement in the case, he says, but Adams would be called and mauled before the public inquiry in 1998 over the swirl of corruption allegations coming out of south London and his knowledge of a prolific informant said to be linked to the family of one of Stephen Lawrence’s killers.

In fact just before his appearance at the public inquiry, Adams had a meeting with detective superintendent David Wood, the head of the Met’s anti-corruption intelligence cell, known as ‘The Dark Side’.

Over a pint at the Star Pub in Leatherhead, Woods and Adams discussed the evidence he was going to give to Sir William Macpherson, the retired judge hearing the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.

Adams had no idea that at this very time Wood was secretly running Haslam as an undercover agent in another major corruption probe he would feature in.

Haslam left the Met in 1989 with depression, which he says hung over him for the next ten years.

During that time he started to develop a theory that Brinks Mat corruption, Commander Adams and the suicide of Alan ‘Taffy’ Holmes were in fact connected to the March 1987 axe murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan.

Morgan and Holmes, he believed, were planning to sell a story to the newspapers on drug corruption in south London for an implausible £250,000.

In the wilderness years from 1989 to 1996, no one from the world of policing paid much attention to Haslam.

But that changed in 1997, when detective superintendent David Wood from ‘the Dark Side’ approached Haslam through an intermediary.

Over a pint, Wood worked on Haslam’s unabated sense of injustice over the way the Met had treated him as a “scapegoat” and the allegations about Adams.

Channelling that anger, Haslam claims the Dark Side boss whispered a rumour that Adams had used his power to block him getting a security job with British Telecom.

Adams told “The Upsetter” this was not true.

Haslam knew he was being buttered up and waited for Wood’s pitch. When it came he was more than intrigued.

The Met’s Dark Side wanted Haslam for a secret and dangerous mission which should he accept he could never tell anyone about.

The mission was to go undercover as a spy inside the circle of the man the Met suspected was responsible for the Morgan murder and at the centre of a network of corrupt police and private investigators feeding the tabloids.

That suspect was Jonathan Rees, no stranger to readers of “The Upsetter”, who was Morgan’s business partner and a master of the Dark Arts used by gumshoes on behalf of corporate clients fronted by ever so slightly more fragrant lawyers.

Rees had been made a murder suspect within weeks of the axe being embedded in his business partner’s skull. He has maintained his innocence throughout several arrests and a trial in 2010 that collapsed through prosecutorial misconduct.

Rees hated the Met and was a beacon for serving and retired cops who also felt F****! over by the force.

Mixing his hatred with theirs, Rees made it his mission to expose the abundance of hypocrisy behind the Met’s anti-corruption intelligence cell, run by David Wood on behalf of the then commissioner Paul Condon and his deputy and eventual replacement John Stevens.

The Dark Side claimed their approach to Haslam was all about solving the Morgan murder. But in reality, they wanted to know what Rees, the Dark Arts Master, was up to.

For his part, Haslam, who had drifted for so long since leaving the Met, saw a chance at relevance and restorative justice. The approach by Wood was vindication of his integrity, he thought.

Haslam was going to “do a Serpico” again.

It helped that Rees knew Haslam from his days as a copper in south London and as fellow freemasons and drinking companions. Haslam had given a statement to the original Morgan murder investigation that said nothing to incriminate Rees.

Furthermore, Haslam’s well-known disgust at the way he had been treated by the Met over Taffy Holmes’ suicide would help convince the garrulous Rees of his bona fides as another former cop F****! over by the force.

The Dark Side wanted Haslam to win the confidence of Rees and report back. Over the next nine years, from 1997 to 2006, the former detective did exactly that as a spy inside the Rees camp.

He was eventually trusted enough by Rees to have access to the office keys, which Haslam took an impression of that allowed the Met’s covert entry team to plant listening devices.

Almost immediately, the Dark Side got a result. A plot by Rees to fit up the wife of a client locked in a bitter custody battle over their children. The plot involved Rees, another suspect in the Morgan murder and a corrupt cop.

Rees was convicted in 2000 without Haslam’s undercover role having to be disclosed during the trial. He therefore remained undercover and visited Rees in prison while working with others in the circle of trust, although some of the less loose lipped in the office remained wary.

But Haslam didn’t just pass intelligence to the Met about Rees and his circle. He also provided insights into what the Morgan family were thinking – he was a police spy inside the grieving relatives of a murder victim who had lost all trust in the Met and were campaigning to expose their failings.

While Rees was in prison, Haslam had struck up a relationship with Alastair Morgan, the brother of the murder victim, who was leading the family’s campaign for the Met to come clean about its failure to solve the case and whether corruption was a motive for murder and cover up.

The Met was telling the Morgan family that it was investigating the killing afresh. But that was a lie. Haslam and the listening devices in the office were providing intelligence to protect the Met and individual officers from any negative publicity.

At the time, “The Upsetter” was investigating the integrity of the Met’s much-vaunted anti-corruption drive. Haslam was a source, but in reality he was reporting back to the Met whatever he could glean – intelligence that was used in 2000 to nobble a legitimate journalistic investigation into how the police was investigating itself.

Haslam was even sent by the Met to the book launch of Untouchables in 2004 to report back through the dope haze and din of black music on who was there. His travel and hotel were picked up by the Dark Side. “The Upsetter” picked up his bar bill.

In 2006, former detective inspector Alec Leighton, an associate of Rees, discovered that Haslam was a police spy using the cover name ‘Joe Poulton’.

Several of his reports to his Met handlers were discovered on the work computer Haslam used for a company, Pure Energy, that he was involved in with Rees, Leighton and others.

The revelation that Haslam was a police spy was first exposed by “The Upsetter” in 2008, although Haslam could not be named for legal reasons.

Despite having spied on the Morgan family, Haslam was adopted as hero, especially by Peter Jukes of “Byline” and the Untold podcast on the axe murder.

It wasn’t until 2021 that after an eight year investigation the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel delivered its view on the veracity of some of the key things Haslam had been claiming.

For example, when the Panel interviewed Haslam in June 2016 he told them that:

“Alan ‘Taffy’ Holmes had told him that he had a story involving police corruption that Daniel Morgan was negotiating to sell to the press for £250,000 on their behalf.”

The Panel could find no evidence of Haslam ever saying this to any official investigation in the aftermath of the Morgan murder and Holmes’ suicide. Nor had he said it in reports passed to the Morgan murder squad in 2003 and 2007 when he was acting as a police spy.

Until 2016, Haslam had claimed the suggestion that Morgan and Holmes knew each other had come from Rees and so had the suggestion of a story being sold to the media for £250,000.

When the Panel asked Haslam to explain this discrepancy in his account, the report said simply, “he did not answer the question.”

Maybe the barristers representing the Daily Mail and The Sun will have better luck if Haslam ever takes the stand and his claims in these new witness statements are tested against the secret intelligence reports he provided to his handlers.

Haslam told “The Upsetter” that he was asked at the beginning of his infiltration to keep a diary and had sent reports at the rate of “about one a week”. In his new statements he says he gave oral briefings based on a typed note he immediately burnt and it was only later that he was asked to write reports on his own computer, which was then hacked and his cover blown.

In an otherwise vague statement on dates, times, places and events, Haslam names Rees, Adams and Leighton and John Davidson about which much is already in the public domain.

Adams goes further than the Morgan Panel report and believes Haslam is “a fantasist” and challenged him to sue. It is ironic he is willing to help the Daily Mail, whose past reporting of his police career sent him into a rage.

Adams believes Haslam has a “vendetta” against him. He said it goes back to 1977 when Haslam killed a homeless civilian while driving a police car over the limit.

Some will not be shocked to learn that Haslam kept his job. According to Adams, he declined to allow Haslam to return to the local crime squad because he had not completed a full one year in uniform.

“From that day on I was his target … I’ve analysed the allegations (Haslam made against me), there’s always an element of truth he builds and builds on.”

Haslam disputes this and with the permission of the High Court judge will be able to give his side of the story sometime this year.

And so it goes……



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