Why the cover-up over who murdered my son?

The Western Daily Press

10th March 2005

A West grandmother will today launch legal action against the Home Secretary Charles Clarke over the unsolved axe murder of her private detective son 18 years ago. Isobel Hulsmann, 77, of Hay-on-Wye, in Herefordshire, on the Welsh border, believes her son, Daniel Morgan, was killed in 1987 by a professional hitman after he had unearthed evidence of police corruption.

But, to the outrage of the family, the allegation was never substantiated by the former Police Complaints Authority and a series of police investigations has failed to lead to any prosecutions.

Father-of-two Mr Morgan, 37, was found in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south London, in 1987 with an axe embedded in his head.

Today, brave Mrs Hulsmann will visit the scene for the first time to lay flowers on the 18th anniversary of her son's brutal killing.

Yesterday Mrs Hulsmann said it had taken her a long time to decide to go to the place her son died. And today’s trip to lay flowers will be her first and last visit, she believes.

“It’s not going to be easy but I'm going to do it,” she said.

She said the “very, very long haul” to find justice for her son was “taking a great toll” on her.

The family are seeking a judicial review of the Home Office’s decision not to launch a public inquiry into the affair.

Mrs Hulsmann said the most recent letter from the Government turning down a request for a public inquiry was “shallow and pathetic”.

The dead man’s brother, Alastair Morgan, 56, a translator, from Islington, north London, told the Western Daily Press how the family had been “pulled through a dreadfully long ordeal”.

He said: “We're going public with the fact we've issued proceedings against the Home Secretary because we feel the authorities have been turning a blind eye for years.”

“The police’s treatment of this case has been an absolute disgrace. We’renot putting up with it any longer. We’re saying to Hazel Blears (Home Office Minister) that we feel the Home Office has been completely out of order over this matter.”

“We are going to get a public inquiry - I’m quite sure of that - but it’s not before time.

“For us, all of the constitutional safeguards have collapsed like dominoes over the years. The first inquiry misled the coroner’s court. The outside inquiry secretly changed its remit and misled the Police Complaints Authority. The third inquiry was conducted behind our backs and the fourth was doomed from the start. At the end of the last inquiry we were told the initial investigation had been so seriously compromised it had wrecked the chances of future prosecutions.” Papers since obtained by the family through legal action had shown a series of mistakes by police, Mr Morgan insisted.

“It makes me feel profoundly uncomfortable that the state holds all the cards. We are subjects, not citizens,” he said.

During the series of police investigations since his death, a business partner of Daniel Morgan was arrested and charged but the case was dropped.

Several serving police officers were also arrested but at Mr Morgan’s inquest they were exonerated by the coroner and later paid damages for false imprisonment.

There was a further series of arrests in London and Croydon in late 2002, followed by the arrest of a former Metropolitan Police officer in his 50s in January 2003 on suspicion of ‘misconduct in a public office’ relating to the initial murder inquiry.

But in September 2003, the Crown Prosecution Service concluded there was insufficient evidence to mount a prosecution.

Mr Morgan’s family have the backing of former Cabinet Minister Chris Smith, who is Alastair Morgan’s MP, and Brecon and Radnorshire Lib Dem MP Roger Williams, who is Mrs Hulsmann’s MP.

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