NEWS – “without comment’
This month marks the 34th anniversary of the killing of Mr Morgan. He was found one evening in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, South London, with an axe embedded in his head.
Thursday, Mar 25th 2021
An axe murder, corruption… and a looming bloodbath for the Met: As a £16m inquiry into ‘Britain’s most investigated unsolved murder’ is finally set to reveal its findings, this dossier lays bare the monstrous scandal that shames British policing
This month marks the 34th anniversary of the murder of Daniel Morgan
He was found in the car park of a South London pub with an axe in his head
It has long been accepted that police corruption was an important factor in the inability to punish Mr Morgan’s killers
By Richard Pendlebury And Stephen Wright For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:59, 24 March 2021
They are known as ‘Salmon letters’. Not after the colour of the paper they are written on, but after the law lord who decreed that those whose actions are criticised significantly in an official inquiry should be notified and have a right to respond before the criticisms are published.
As far as the independent inquiry into the grisly murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan is concerned, that public reprimand is imminent — though it has been a very long time in coming.
The married father of two had been struck several times, the final blow so hard that it had severed his brain stem. Two packets of crisps lay on the ground beside him. A large roll of cash was untouched in his pocket.
His death has been described as ‘Britain’s most investigated unsolved murder’. Five police inquiries, with an estimated total cost of £30million, have so far failed to secure justice for the Morgan family.
As far as the independent inquiry into the grisly murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan is concerned, that public reprimand is imminent ¿ though it has been a very long time in coming
And behind that failure to convict and the expense to the public purse lies a dark truth at the heart of this story. It has been long accepted — and publicly acknowledged by senior officers — that police corruption was an important factor in the inability to punish Mr Morgan’s killers.
There is a strong belief in some quarters that at least one policeman involved in the initial murder investigation had been close to the murder plot itself. The crime has proved unsolvable because corrupt local officers subverted the efforts of their detective colleagues from the beginning.
When the fifth and last criminal investigation into the Morgan case collapsed at the pre-trial stage in 2011 there was much acrimony and heartbreak. In May 2013, the then Home Secretary Theresa May announced that an independent inquiry would be set up into how the Metropolitan Police had handled the case.
And so the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel was established.
Headed by Baroness Nuala O’Loan, its remit is to ‘shine a light on the circumstances of Daniel Morgan’s murder, its background and the handling of the case over the whole period since March 1987’.
The original terms of reference set out that ‘the panel will aim to complete its work within 12 months of the [police and other relevant] documentation being made available’. That was almost eight years ago. Since then, the inquiry has cost the taxpayer at least £16million.
The delay has been blamed on the slowness of the police to provide the necessary paper evidence. The police have argued that they have supplied the inquiry with more than a million documents. These excuses are immaterial to the Morgan family — the delay only adds a new layer to their suffering.
The Mail, which has championed their cause with a number of ground-breaking investigative pieces, has learned from key participants that the Morgan Panel report will be published, finally, within the next few weeks.
Sources have suggested that the panel has been under pressure from the Home Office to deliver now because it is costing £2million a year.
The Morgan Panel Salmon letters have been sent out and received. One source close to the inquiry said that the list of recipients will read like a Who’s Who of policing over the past three decades.
Among those said to be in the firing line are at least one of the seven Metropolitan Police Commissioners who have been in post since the Morgan murder.