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Posted by: Ian (D. Withers)

Daniel Morgan: Met Police forced to apologise after lost documents ‘found in locked cabinet’

Met assistant commissioner says force is ‘working to understand what has taken place’

Rich Booth, Matt Mathers

May 10, 2023

The Met Police has been forced to apologise after potentially key documents in Britain’s most investigated homicide were found in a locked cabinet at New Scotland Yard.

Officials said paperwork relevant to murdered private investigator Daniel Morgan was found in a locked cabinet that had not been used for a number of years at its headquarters in London.

Mr Morgan was killed with an axe in a south London pub car park on 10 March 1987. Despite an inquest and five previous inquiries his killer has never been brought to justice.

The documents in question were found in January and an assessment started in February.

A total of 95 pages of material should have been disclosed to the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (DMIP), the Met said.

The DMIP was set up to look into the case and published its final report in June 2021 after the Home Office tried to delay it.

A further 71 pages were identified that would have been provided to His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) as part of their subsequent inspection.

Barbara Gray, Met assistant commissioner, said: “We fully acknowledge how unacceptable and deeply regrettable this situation is.

“We are working to understand what has taken place and any impact. We apologise to the family of Daniel Morgan and to the Panel.”

The Met said its assessment found there were no evidential documents that relate to criminal investigations into the murder.

The DMIP’s damming final report published in 2021 accused the Met of “institutional corruption” over their failure to bring Mr Morgan’s killer to justice.

Private investigator Daniel Morgan was killed with an axe in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London, in March 1987

The panel concluded that the force’s “first objective was to protect itself” against allegations that corrupt officers were involved in the unsolved murder.

Its report said that severe failings in the initial investigation, where the crime scene was not searched, interviews were not properly carried out and suspects were forewarned of their arrests, meant potential evidence had been “irretrievably lost”.

The panel’s chairwoman, Baroness Nuala O’Loan, said Scotland Yard had not acknowledged or confronted its failings and showed a “lack of candour”.

Daniel John Morgan, the son of an army officer, was born in Singapore on 3 November 1949.

He and his siblings were raised in Monmouthshire in South Wales and Mr Morgan attended agricultural college in Usk as a teenager before spending time in Denmark, gaining practical experience in farming.

He subsequently changed career to work as a salesman and travel guide, finally settling in Norwood, London, in his late 20s, married with a wife and two children.

In January 1977, Mr Morgan decided to put his exceptional memory for details to use by going to work as a private detective, three years later setting up his own agency, DJM Investigations.

In 1981, the business was renamed Southern Investigations and opened its first office in Thornton Heath, Greater London.

On the night of his death, Morgan had a drink with his partner, Jonathan Rees, at the Golden Lion before heading to his BMW to return home.

He was found dead shortly after, slumped beside the car with an axe wound in the back of his head.

One of Mr Morgan’s partners in the detective business, the partner’s two brothers and two Met Police officers were arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Morgan but no one has even been convicted of the killing.

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