Battle to reopen axe murder investigation

The London Evening Standard - by Rebecca Mowling

15th October 2004

The family of a man murdered 17 years ago is to take legal action to force the Government to hold a public inquiry into his mysterious death.

Private investigator Daniel Morgan, 37, was killed with an axe in a pub car park in Sydenham.

His family believes he was murdered by a professional hitman because he was about to expose a web of corruption involving several senior police officers.

And today it emerged the family has been given financial aid from the Legal Service Commission to challenge the Home Office decision not to hold an inquiry into his death.

No one has been convicted despite four police investigations. Mr Morgan's brother Alistair said: “Only a public inquiry will reveal the truth of what happened to my brother.”

“I believe Daniel was murdered to prevent him going public with information he uncovered about police corruption.” Daniel Morgan, from South Norwood, was found near his silver BMW in the Golden Lion car park in March 1987 with an axe in his head.

Robbery was ruled out as a motive because £1,000 cash was left in the dead man’s pocket.

He had been struck five times with the axe, which had sticking plaster on the handle to ensure no fingerprints were left.

Mr Morgan’s business partner at Southern Investigations, Jonathan Rees, was arrested but charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Mr Morgan, a married father-of-two, had fallen out with Rees over the illegal employment of off-duty police officers by the agency. Rees was friendly with a number of officers who were later accused of being involved in the killing.

Detective Sgt Sid Fillery from Catford CID, who conducted the first few days of the murder inquiry, was one of the detectives implicated. He was removed from the investigation when his relationship with Rees was revealed.

Several other officers were arrested but were exonerated at Mr Morgan’s inquest - and were paid damages for false imprisonment.

Rees appointed Fillery as his new partner. In 1999 Rees was jailed in a drugs conspiracy case. Fillery was later convicted of possessing indecent images and given a three year rehabilitation order.

Alistair Morgan, 55, said: “There has been a systematic cover-up from the top of the Met down.”

The London Programme featuring Daniel Morgan’s murder case will be screened on ITV at 11pm tonight.

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Link to the website of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel
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