More arrests over murder of private eye

The Western Mail - by Colin Hughes

17th December 2002

Further arrests were made early yesterday in connection with the brutal murder more than 15 years ago of a Welsh private detective.

Daniel Morgan, 37, grew up in Wales and attended agricultural college in Monmouthshire. He was hacked to death with an axe in the car park of a south London pub in March 1987.

Mugging was ruled out because an axe is not the typical mugger’s weapon, and robbery was also discounted even though his £800 Rolex watch was missing. Significantly, bundles of notes adding up to £1,000 which he had collected from clients earlier remained intact in his pocket.

His killers have never been found, even though three separate investigations were launched, two by the Metropolitan Police and the other by Hampshire Police.

Mr Morgan’s family - his mother still lives in Wales - are convinced the father of two was lured to the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south London. They believe his death was a contract ‘hit’ and that he was silenced because he intended to expose police corruption.

His family have since waged a ceaseless campaign to shed light on what they describe as “one of the most sinister cases” in Metropolitan Police history.

It is because of their persistence that the current fresh investigation, headed by Detective Superintendent Dave Cook, was launched. It made an appeal for new witnesses on the BBC’s Crimewatch UK programme last June.

In October a man in his mid-40s was arrested in connection with the murder - for which there is a £50,000 reward on offer for information leading to the conviction of those responsible. But although the arrest was described by police as a “significant development”, the unnamed man was later released on bail without being charged.

Yesterday, New Scotland Yard confirmed that two other arrests had been made.

They said a man in his late 40s was being held at Sutton Police Station and a woman in her 60s was in custody at Croydon Police Station.

Morgan’s family declined to comment on these latest developments yesterday.

Three people were arrested for the murder in 1989 - including Jonathan Rees, Morgan’s partner in the Thornton Heath-based private detective agency Southern Investigations.

Rees has always denied any involvement in the murder and, after a committal date was set, all charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

He came under suspicion immediately after the killing and was arrested, along with others, including three serving police officers, but they were all later released.

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