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Daniel Morgan's brother welcomes inquiry into 1987 axe murder


DANIEL Morgan was found dead in a car park 26 years ago, with an axe in his head.

The father of two, from South Norwood, was thought to be close to uncovering a web of police corruption at the time of his killing, while similar allegations have dogged subsequent inquiries into his death.

His killers still have not been brought to justice and last week, Home Secretary Theresa May announced a "Hillsborough-style" independent panel review of the case.

Alastair Morgan has fought tirelessly for justice since his brother's death and says his family have been through "mental torture".

Reacting to news of the review, he told the Advertiser: "We never had any intention of giving up on this. We have been pushing for this for a long time and we were happy when the Home Office finally got in touch last year."

Daniel Morgan was aged 37 when he was killed in March 1987. His body was found in the Golden Lion pub car park, in Sydenham.

Daniel, of Warminster Road, co-ran the business Southern Investigations from Thornton Heath High Street.

The panel, led by Sir Stanley Burnton, will examine the circumstances of the murder, its background and the police handling of the case. It will also look at potential police involvement in the killing and if they played a part in those responsible not being brought to justice.

Connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists from the News of the World will also be probed by the panel.

Alastair has been in negotiations with the Home Office through his solicitor for months after they renewed their interest in the crime.

His solicitor, Raju Bhatt, sat on the panel for the Hillsborough enquiry in 2012, which exposed the lies and deceit involved and led to a new criminal investigation. Alastair said: "He has been a great source of help.

"We have had incredible amounts of support from a lot of different people. I think it is a story that has such huge public interest. For institutions like the police to be acting in this way shines a light on a sickness at the heart of society."

Five police inquiries into Mr Morgan's death have been conducted and four men were charged with his murder in 2008.

Morgan's business partner Jonathan Rees, 56; Rees' brothers-in-law Glenn Vian, 52, and Garry Vian, 50; and builder James Cook, 56, were due to stand trial in April 2009. But the case collapsed in 2011 after lengthy legal delays and all the charges were dropped

Mr Morgan, who works as a translator, said his family's search for the truth has dominated his life since the killing. He said: "This has taken over mine and my family's life. I have probably had five or six hundred meetings and phone calls with people about the subject since it happened. I work on a freelance basis because while this has been going on, I could never have been an employee for a company.

"It is not necessarily all about justice, it is about finding out the truth. We want as much media coverage as possible, so these failings can be highlighted."

In 2011, Tim Godwin, the Metropolitan Police Service's acting commissioner at the time, apologised to the family for their failure to bring Daniel's killers to justice.

Alastair said: "We thought the apology was a very courageous thing for Tim to do. The way the police have acted has not been entirely black from start to finish but I certainly handle them with care now."

Mr Morgan's mother, Isobel Hulsmann, is now 85 and has been fighting for justice for her son for 26 years.

His brother added: "So much has happened that I have to talk about it in broad brushstrokes. What we have had to endure is nothing less than mental torture. This has been with me since I was 38 years old.

"It has changed my family's relationship with this country forever."

THE commissioning of the Independent Panel represents a government commitment to a full review of the corruption allegations which have dogged the handling of Daniel Morgan's case. It will also examine the police's treatment of Daniel's family. The panel will talk to members of his family, while obtaining and examining all the relevant documentation from both governmental and non governmental bodies. Papers from the Metropolitan Police, Hampshire Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Police Complaints Authority, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Southwark Coroner's Court and the Home Office will be reviewed. While the review cannot force another criminal investigation or prosecution, it can make recommendations as to whether it believes there should be future inquiries or investigations. All the panel's findings will be disclosed to the family before being they itare presented to Pparliament by the Home Secretary Theresa May. The panel hopes to have completed its review within 12 months. It will inform the family of its progress on the report during that time.
March 10, 1987: Daniel Morgan's body found slumped by his BMW in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham. Det Sgt Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery, from Catford Police Station, is assigned to the case but he fails to mention his associations with Jonathan Rees, Daniel's partner at Southern Investigations. April 1987: Six people, including Fillery, Rees, Rees's brothers-in-law Glenn and Garry Vian, and two other Met officers are arrested on suspicion of the murder, but are released without charge. March 1988: Fillery retires from the Met and takes a job replaces Daniel at Southern Investigations. February 1989: Three men, including Jonathan Rees, are arrested by police on suspicion of the murder but the charges are dropped in May 1989. November 1997: A third investigation commences but the Morgan family only find out about it after the case is aborted in September 1999. December 2000: Suspect Rees is convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and is jailed for seven years. July 2001: A fourth investigation is launched covertly. October 2002: Several associates of Rees are arrested on suspicion of involvement in murdering Daniel but are subsequently released without charge. September 2003: The investigation closes with no prosecutions brought by the Crown Prosecution Service. February 2004: Home Secretary David Blunkett seeks a public judicial inquiry into the murderkilling. January 2006: A fifth investigation is launched. April 2008: Rees, the Vian brothers and James Cook are arrested and charged with the murder. Fillery is arrested and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. March 2011: Prosecution offer no evidence against Rees or the Vian brothers, and the trial collapses. October 2012: Proposal on behalf of the Home Secretary to appoint an Independent Panel.

Daniel Morgan's brother welcomes inquiry into 1987 axe murder

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