On 10th March 1987, private investigator Daniel Morgan was brutally axed to death
in the car park of a pub in Sydenham, south east London. During the first Met
inquiry, three serving detectives were arrested on suspicion of involvement for
the killing. One of these was actually a member of the squad investigating the murder.
The two other officers later won damages as a result of their arrest.
At an inquest in April 1988, a bookkeeper employed by Daniel’s company Southern
Investigations alleged that Daniels partner, Jonathan Rees, and Detective Sergeant
Sid Fillery - a member of the murder squad – had planned the contract murder.
Bookkeeper Kevin Lennon also alleged that Fillery planned early retirement and
would step into Daniels shoes at Southern Investigations. By the time of the inquest,
Fillery had already left the Police force and was working together with Rees. The
inquest also heard allegations from other witnesses that Fillery had tampered with
evidence and attempted to interfere with witnesses during the inquiry. Lennon made
his statement seven months before the inquest. In the weeks before his murder Daniel
Morgan had repeatedly expressed concerns over corrupt police officers in south London.
A complaint from the horrified family initiated an outside inquiry by Hampshire
police in July 1988. Its terms of reference were to investigate all aspects
of police involvement arising from the death of Daniel Morgan.
Unknown to Daniels family, the remit of this inquiry was secretly
changed at a high level meeting at Scotland Yard in December 1988.
Hampshire police later charged Jonathan Rees and another civilian
with the murder, but the case was dropped before trial. Hampshire
later reported to the Police Complaints Authority that there was no
evidence whatsoever of police involvement in the murder.
Shocked by this conclusion, the family began lobbying MPs Chris Smith
(Islington South & Finsbury) and Richard Livesey (Brecon
& Radnor). The family and their MPs held a series of meetings with
senior Scotland Yard officers culminated in a meeting with Met
Commissioner Sir Paul Condon in November 1997. Condon promised to
review the case.
Late in 1998 and without the knowledge of the Morgan family, Deputy
Assistant Commissioner Roy Clark head of Scotland Yards ghost
squad began a covert inquiry into the murder. This involved the
bugging of Southern Investigations offices in Thornton Heath. Only
in July 1999 did the family learn of the inquiry through an article leaked
by police to the Daily Telegraph. In December 2000, Jonathan Rees,
Simon Jones and detective constable Austin Warnes were convicted of
conspiring to plant cocaine on a woman in order to discredit her in
a child custody battle. No one was charged with the murder of Daniel Morgan.
Troubled by the secrecy of this inquiry, the Morgan family demanded
disclosure of the 1989 report from Hampshire police. DAC Roy Clark
agreed to this, but the family rejected his draconian terms. First
he requested that the family indemnify Hampshire police against civil
action before reading the report. When this was rejected, he offered
to read the 83 page report to the family but would allow them to take
no notes or record. The family began litigation to force disclosure.
In 2002 the Met began a fourth inquiry into the murder of Daniel Morgan
and in September 2003 the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was
insufficient evidence to prosecute.