Detective Chief superintendent David Cook (left) was allegedly under surveillance by News of the World during an investigation into the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan (right)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

#Hackgate : Daniel Morgan Murder :In the following months there were rumours and allegations of high level police corruption and Masonic links surrounding the investigation but no charges resulted.

The murder of Daniel Morgan

Report: 10

Date: 27 October 2005

By: Chief Executive and Clerk


This report invites the Authority to consider whether it wishes to take steps in support of the Morgan family to investigate further into the events surrounding and subsequent to the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987.
A. Recommendation

That the Authority decides whether it agrees to the proposals set out in paragraph 16 of this report.

B. Supporting information

The murder of Daniel Morgan

1. The following is a brief summary of the murder of Daniel Morgan and subsequent events. It does not reflect the complexities of this case or a number of the personalities involved. Nor can it do justice to the deep concerns that his family have about flaws in the conduct of the investigations into the murder and allegations that they have made publicly that police officers were involved in the murder itself.

2. In 1987 private investigator Daniel Morgan was murdered with an axe in a pub car park in Sydenham, south east London. At the time he was the business partner of Jonathan Rees in a company of private investigators called Southern Investigations. Jonathan Rees was regarded as the principal suspect. The primary motive was considered to be the circumstances surrounding a robbery at a Car Auction premises a year earlier.

3. Jonathan Rees undertook to provide security for the auctions, employing his brothers-in-law and three serving police officers, one of whom was DS Sidney Fillery. On 18 March 1986 the auction’s takings were stolen in circumstances that led Belmont Auctions to conclude that Mr Rees had engineered the theft. As a result they sued Mr Rees and Mr Morgan through the civil courts. This caused a major breakdown in the relationship between the two partners and the MPS investigation team believed that this led to the murder.

4. Detective Superintendent Douglas Campbell led the MPS investigation team. Because the murder had occurred in the Catford police areas where he worked, DS Fillery was seconded to the murder squad. He failed to inform Mr Campbell of his association with Mr Rees or of his involvement with the Belmont incident. In addition he undertook a search of the offices of Southern Investigations, allegedly removing a file relating to the Belmont Auctions work that was never seen by the investigation team. As soon as his role in the incident was discovered he was removed from the squad but Mr Campbell’s view was that he had already fundamentally undermined the investigation.

5. In April 1987 Mr Rees, DS Fillery and the other two officers were arrested upon suspicion of being involved in the murder. All were later released uncharged.

6. In the following months there were rumours and allegations of high level police corruption and Masonic links surrounding the investigation but no charges resulted.

7. In April 1988 an inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing. Daniel Morgan’s family complained to the Police Complaints Authority about the conduct of the investigation and in June 1988 the Head of Hampshire CID undertook a review of the MPS investigation. His conclusion was that there was no evidence to suggest that police had been involved and that in his opinion Mr Rees had arranged the murder. Mr Rees was charged with this offence but the Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently discontinued the prosecution for lack of evidence.

8. In March 1988 Mr Fillery was medically discharged from the MPS and took Daniel Morgan’s place as Mr Rees’ partner at Southern Investigations.

9. In 1999 the MPS Anti-Corruption Command carried out a further investigation of Mr Rees’ and Mr Fillery’s alleged corrupt activities, together with the murder of Daniel Morgan. This found little evidence in relation to the murder, evidence was found of a conspiracy to plant cocaine on a young mother on behalf of her husband in order to win a custody battle for their chil but evidence of significant corruption. In additiond. As a result, in December 2000 Rees and the husband were sentenced to six years imprisonment, later increased to seven years on appeal.

10. The MPS Murder Review Group conducted a review of all available evidence and intelligence in 2001, followed by a focused re-investigation of the murder. This resulted in a report to the Crown Prosecution Service recommending that charges should be laid against various people. However, counsel’s advice recommended that no charges should be pursued.

11. The current situation is that the murder is not being actively investigated but the case has not been closed. There therefore remains the chance that evidence may be forthcoming in the future that could lead to a prosecution and care should be taken not to prejudice this.

12. From the outset, Daniel Morgan’s brother Alastair and other members of the family have consistently raised concerns over the police handling of this case (including the way that Hampshire Constabulary reviewed the first investigation) as well as alleging police officer involvement in the murder itself and subsequent collusion and cover up to a high level within the MPS. This case has been the subject of a great deal of media coverage over the years. The family’s views are also represented on the website  [1].

13. The family have received support over the years from MPs – including 57 MPs signing an Early Day Motion calling for a public judicial inquiry - and have met with the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw and more recently Hazel Blears. They have not, however, been successful so far in their main aim of getting agreement to the holding of a public inquiry into all the events surrounding this case.
The family’s approach to the MPA

14. The family sought a meeting with Jennette Arnold, as their local MPA representative, and a meeting was subsequently held on 19 May 2005 between Jennette and Len Duvall, the Chair of the Authority, on behalf of the MPA, Alastair Morgan and other members of the family and supporting MPS. At this meeting Alastair Morgan and other family members briefed Len Duvall and Jennette Arnold on the events surrounding the case and their detailed concerns and reasons why they see a public inquiry as essential to restore confidence in the police and the criminal justice system.

15. The Chair undertook to reflect on the issues raised by the family and in what way the MPA might be able or prepared to act in the case towards securing a comprehensive account of what happened in the various investigations and a critique of the investigations. This would also give them support in their campaign. A further meeting with the family was held on 27 June at which the Chair outlined ways in which the MPA might be able and prepared to take action. Correspondence followed between the Chair, Alastair Morgan and the family’s solicitor. The Chair also discussed the position with the MPS at a senior level. The Deputy Chief Executive & Solicitor has also met with Alastair Morgan and the family’s solicitor to explore the options in more detail.


16. It is the Chair’s view that although this murder took place some 18 years ago, there are a number of unanswered questions which must continue to cast doubt on the integrity of the police service. He considers that an independent review, with a focused brief, would be a constructive and necessary way forward. On the basis of the Chair’s discussions with the family the following steps are therefore proposed:

•Under Section 22 (3) of the Police Act 1996, for the MPA to require the Commissioner to submit a Report to the Authority on the murder of Daniel Morgan and the subsequent investigations of that crime. The proposed commissioning brief for this report is set out in the appendix to this report. The Commissioner would be asked to prepare the report to be considered at the January 2006 meeting of the Authority in public session. The Report would be shared with the Morgan family and their comments obtained so that the Authority could consider those as well.
•Following consideration of the Commissioner’s report, and in the light of comments from the family, the MPA will engage a barrister to independently review all the case papers in relation to the murder and all subsequent investigations. The barrister would be asked to produce a comprehensive appraisal of the several investigations and the various decisions by police and prosecuting authorities and to comment generally on the conduct of the investigations, and in particular to advise whether the case papers

a.Point to conclusions other than those reached by the most recent MPS review of the investigation

b.Indicate police corruption/collusion or involvement in either the murder itself or the subsequent failure of investigations

c.Provide sufficient grounds to justify any prosecution

d.Raise issues that could best be pursued through a public inquiry (for instance because of the power to summon witnesses) and what risks might flow from such an inquiry in relation to prospective prosecutions
The terms of reference of this review may be refined in the light of the Report by the Commissioner, taking account of views of the family of the deceased and the MPA.

The family of the deceased and the MPS will have opportunity to make written and oral submissions to the QC, and the MPS will be expected to respond to requests from the QC for further information.
This review would be conducted wholly in private. The QC’s report would be made available to the family of the deceased.

Comments of the Deputy Chief Executive and Solicitor to the Authority

17. The Authority has no functions in relation to the investigation of the crime as such, or in relation to decisions whether or not to prosecute. Those are matters for the Commissioner and the prosecuting authority respectively.

However, in pursuing its responsibilities to secure effective and efficient policing, and to hold the Commissioner to account for the performance of the MPS, the Authority has a legitimate interest in receiving an explanation from the Commissioner of MPS’ actions in the case. The Authority has the power to require a report from the Commissioner about past matters as well as present ones, and the power to obtain independent legal advice to assist it to come to a view on the conduct of the investigations as a matter of performance and learning.

The Authority does not have control of any of the papers relating to the investigations. The independent review by a barrister, as envisaged here, can only take place effectively with the full co-operation of the MPS in making documentation and evidential material available to the barrister in confidence. From discussions with the Deputy Commissioner and other Senior Officers it is understood that the MPS will give its co-operation.


18. The Authority is therefore asked to decide whether it wishes to proceed in the way set out in paragraph

16. If agreed, the Authority would expect to receive the Commissioner’s report at its January 2006 meeting, unless there were compelling reasons why this would not be possible. At this stage the Authority is being asked for an in principle decision in relation to an independent case review, pending an assessment of its likely scale and scope which will be informed by the contents of the Commissioner’s report. Every effort will be made to contain the costs of the review within reasonable limits by focusing on the key questions whilst ensuring that the thoroughness of the review is not prejudiced.

C. Race and equality impact

There are no implications at this stage.

D. Financial implications

There are no financial implications at this stage, in that the Authority is being asked to make an in principle decision on an independent review. However, there would be significant financial implications if such a review was agreed and these would be addressed in a subsequent report.

E. Background papers

■Letter from the Chair of the Authority to Alastair Morgan, July 2005

F. Contact details

Report author: Simon Vile

For more information contact:

MPA general: 020 7202 0202

Media enquiries: 020 7202 0217/18

Letter from MPA Chief Executive & Clerk to Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis regarding the murder of Daniel Morgan

(this letter was sent after the full Authority meeting held on 27 October 2005 at which this report was presented)

3 November 2005

Sir Ian Blair, QPM, MA

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

New Scotland Yard

Dear Ian,

The murder of Daniel Morgan
As you know, the full Authority meeting last week considered whether it wished to take steps in support of the Morgan family in relation to the events surrounding and subsequent to the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987.

Members decided, under Section 22 (3) of the Police Act 1996, to ask you to submit a report to the Authority, the commissioning brief for which is attached. This commissioning brief attempts to capture the concerns expressed by the Morgan family and I need to make it clear, therefore, that its wording does not imply that the Authority has formed any views about the several investigations of this murder in advance of receiving your report.

The Authority agreed to receive your report at its meeting on 26 January 2006. The Chair has undertaken to give the Morgan family sight of the report in sufficient time to allow them to submit written comments to Authority members. This suggests, therefore that your report should be completed, or substantially completed, by the end of December. I would be grateful if you could alert me at the earliest opportunity if this is not going to be possible, with your estimate of the timescale required for completion of a suitably comprehensive report.

The Authority intends to take your report in open session. I am, however, concerned to ensure that we do not prejudice any possibility of securing future convictions for this murder. Therefore, I would similarly welcome an early discussion if there are specific aspects that may need to be treated as exempt information. I would, however, expect the whole report to be made available to the Morgan family.

Following consideration of your report, and in the light of comments from the family, the MPA will consider whether to engage a barrister to conduct a thorough but focussed review of case papers in relation to the murder and the subsequent investigations. In the meantime, David Riddle will consult with AC Brown and David Hamilton as part of the MPA’s consideration of the practical, legal and cost implications, and of a shortlist of Counsel who might be approached.

Yours sincerely

Catherine Crawford

Chief Executive & Clerk to the Authority

Appendix 1

Commissioning brief for a report to the Authority - issued by MPA pursuant to Section 22(3) of the Police Act 1996

To report on the murder of Daniel Morgan and the subsequent investigations of that crime, and specifically on:

1. the murder and the circumstances surrounding the murder

2. the first investigation of the murder carried out by the MPS – giving a comprehensive account of the investigation and its weakness including the possibility of the investigation being compromised and specifically covering

•the role of ex PS Sidney Fillery in that investigation: and
•the extent to which other police officers were amongst those who sought to protect him

3. The Coroner’s inquest and verdict, including in particular the extent to which the inquiry was necessarily reliant upon the products of the first MPS investigation and therefore crippled by any identified weaknesses in that investigation (not least in relation to forensic evidence relating to the murder weapon and the integrity of the crime scene)

4. The further investigation by Hampshire Police, addressing in particular

•The extent to which the terms of reference of the investigation were changed whereby its focus was shifted away from its original purpose of investigating police involvement in the deceased’s murder; and
•The extent to which the report of the investigation to the PCA on the question of police involvement in the murder was misleading in its findings, not least in relation to forensic evidence relating to the murder weapon and the integrity of the crime scene.

5. Subsequent reviews and re-investigation by the MPS, addressing in particular the circumstances in which the third investigation (The Two Bridges Inquiry) was conducted almost entirely without the knowledge of the deceased’s family until it came to be aborted.

6. The extent of police corruption as it related to the murder of Daniel Morgan and the subsequent investigation

7. The current status of the inquiry

8. The lessons learned by the MPS from this case

The Commissioner’s report will be made available to the family of the deceased.