Date: 10 Mar 1987
Daniel Morgan was killed outside the Golden Lion public house in Sydenham on 10 March 1987.
He was found in the car park with an axe embedded in his neck.
He had four wounds to his head, four of which were consistent with having been caused by an axe and the fith consistent with having been caused by a blow to the head or contact with a heavy blunt surface such as the ground. There was no evidence of defence wounds.
The axe was noted for having had Elastoplast strips around the shaft which were removed and 117 fibres recovered and preserved. However, no fingerprints were found on the axe.
There were several arrests and two trials, but no one was ever convicted.
His murder was was noted for the investigation into it having been hindered by police corruption in the Metropolitan Police Force. Inquiries were undertaken and three groups of people considered suspects although his business partner was considered in all three groups.
It was also claimed that members of the local CID had known that Daniel Morgan was going to be killed so that one of them could take over Daniel Morgan's role in his business, Southern Investigations, which the policeman later did.
It was also heard that an ex-employee of Daniel Morgan claimed that Daniel Morgan had been trying to sell a story about police corruption to a newspaper at the time of his murder.
The general outline of events in the investigation of Daniel Morgan's murder include:
Daniel Morgan had worked for Southern Investigations, a business based in Thornton Heath, South London, that he had set up with a business partner and his business partner and some other people were initially arrested of suspicion of his murder but later released.
At the time of his murder Southern Investigations had been involved in a civil action with Belmont Car Auctions as well as a massive fraud inquiry involving a West Yorkshire firm. The company usually covered divorce cases, car repossession and collecting debts and worked with a number of active and retired police officers.
Daniel Morgan, although married, was said to have been having several affairs at the time, up to four, and had been seeing a woman shortly before he went to the Golden Lion public house.
Arrests were made in 1987 but the people arrested were later released.
The men were arrested again in 2009 along with another man and they were sent for trial, however, they were aqcuitted after the trial collapsed, in part because it was heard to have reliaed mainly on the evidence of a super-grass whose evidence was not allowed at the trial.
Four reviews have been carried out into the failings of the investigations and the reasons why the case collapsed.
The case was also noted for the mysterious death of Alan Holmes, an acquaintance of Daniel Morgan who was said to have committed suicide in the summer of 1987.
The five investigations into Daniel Morgan's murder and the police corruption associated with it were called:
The main suspects in the 1987 arrests were:
The suspects arrested in the 1989 investigation were:
The suspects arrested in the 2009 investigation were:
Southern Investigations had been set up by Daniel Morgan and his business partner who had been an ex-Metropolitan Police officer. As a police officcer Daniel Morgan's partner maintained good relations with other existing police officers, including the detective sergeeant who it was claimed had plotted to murder Daniel Morgan so that he could take his place in Southern Investigations. It was said that that connectivity had allowed the men accused of Daniel Morgan's murder to get inside information on pregress in the case, the ability to destroy evidence, to know of any pending arrests and to otherwise influence the investigation and protect themselves.
Daniel Morgan had been drinking with his business partner at the Golden Lion public house who left him at about 8.30pm at the Golden Lion pub was later found dead in the car park at 9.40pm by a pub customer as he arrived. He said that he saw Daniel Morgan's body there in the light of his headlights with an axe 'in the right of his neck'.
He was found dead with an axe left in his head. His watch was missing but he was found to still have his wallet and a large amount of cash, about £1,170, that he had had on him at the time. However, it was noted that papers regardin some work that he was involved with and seen with shortly before were missing.
It was noted that after his body was found that when the police arrived a number of mistakes were made in the way that it was handled ranging from not securing the crime scene and allowing customers at the pub to drive off through to not taking witness statements.
It was also noted that the detective sergeant that had known both Daniel Morgan, his business partner and Southern Investigations had not declared that when he himself, being on the catford Crime Squad, interviewed Daniel Morgan's business partner.
The detective sergeant that had interviewed Daniel Morgan's business partner had been part of the Catford Crime Squad and he and all of the other officers in the squad were returned to their duties on 16 March 1987 after which the main Morgan One Investigation team took over the murder case.
The first set of suspects were arrested soon after on 3 April 1987.
The timeline of Daniel Morgan's day was roughly as follows:
As such, it was noted that it was not possible to say exactly when Daniel Morgan entered or left the Golden Lion public house.
Daniel Morgan's business partner said in his statement, 'We chose that Pub as we had arranged to meet our associate who was going to introduce us to a Third Party in the hope of securing a loan. However the associate failed to appear because his wife had had an accident at work so we just stayed in the Pub for a drink. Daniel was not drinking particularly heavily that evening. I think he had two or three drinks of white wine and soda. Our conversation was mainly about business and new Clients. At about 9 pm I cannot be exact about the time, we finished our drinks and made to leave the Pub. I was a few seconds ahead of him as he was held a short while making notes on a piece of paper. We said our goodbyes inside the Pub and I just walked out of the front door of the Pub and into my car which was parked in Sydenham Road almost outside the Pub. I was not made aware by Daniel where he had parked his car, although I assumed he had parked it in the rear car park. I assume that Daniel left the Pub by the rear door as I think he was only a very short time behind me and I would have noticed if he followed me through the front'.
The customer that found Daniel Morgan's body said that he thought that it had been a tailor’s dummy at first but that when he got out he saw that it was real and so he went into the pub to inform that landlord. He noted that when he saw Daniel Morgan's body that he noticed two packets of crisps on the ground by Daniel Morgan's left hand and noticed that Daniel Morgan's trousers were torn. In his statement regarding going into the pub to himform the landlord he said, 'the bar was crowded and I was trying to attract his attention without causing a panic. It took me maybe a minute, two minutes, to actually call him over. I whispered to him that he had a problem in his car park'.
The customer said that they then both went outside and that he then touched the back of Daniel Morgan’s left hand which he said was cold to the touch. They then went back into the pub to call the police and waited there until the police arrived. The call was made at 9.50pm.
When the police arrived it was noted that they should have carried out certain procedures to preserve the scene and potential evidence, including:
However, it was noted that much of that didn't happen and that the whole car park was not taped off and customers were allowed to drive off. The first police investigation into the case stated, 'The crime scene should have been defined by the Senior Investigating Officer and should have included the entirety of the ground floor and any other public areas of the Golden Lion public house, as well as the beer garden and the whole car park, encompassing an area that extended just beyond the car park boundary wall and covered the alleyway access to the side of the building, shown in the map. There is no evidence in the papers available to the Panel that this happened'.
The review said that evidence showed that one witness had said that as they had walked past the Golden Lion car park on 10 March 1987, they had seen that 'Police were there with lights from a van shining on the body and the car park was taped off'. However, other evidence from the first Police Sergeant to arrive at the scene stated that he and the first Police Constable to arrive had 'taped off an area around the body and articles on the floor, in order to preserve this scene for forensic examination'. It was further noted that over time many of the documents from the time had since been lost.
It was similarly noted that the pub itself was not sealed off and that whilst the police were arriving at the scene and dealing with the area around where Daniel Morgan's body was found, customers had started to use a makeshift pedestrian exit to an adjacent street through a hole in a fence which was commonly used as a short cut. There had been three doors to the pub and only one policeman was guarding one of them.
It was also noted that a search of the scene was not made, not even around where Daniel Morgan was found. The review stated that there was no evidence or record within the material disclosed to the Panel of a search of any part of the car park, the beer garden, the outside toilet, the streets in the immediate vicinity of the Golden Lion public house or even of the area where Daniel Morgan’s body was found, on the night of the murder or subsequently and that no police officers stated they initiated or were involved with any such search, as would be expected if it had been done.
It was further noted that although it was known that Daniel Morgan had been drinking in the Gollden LKion public house only minutes before his murder, that there was no evidence that the interior of the Golden Lion public house was searched and no officer present said that they searched the Golden Lion public house and no officer stated that they directed someone else to do that. It was further noted that when the Forensic Science Laboratory Liaison Sergeant that had attended the scene of the crime was asked exactly what his scene search had entailed on the night of the murder, he said that he, 'searched the pockets of Daniel Morgan’s clothing and having looked in his car before making a 'visual sweep of the public house car park and the area immediately behind an adjacent wall', after the body had been removed to the mortuary', which it was noted was not a proper search. It was also noted that some items found near the body were not sent for forensic analysis.
It was also noted that no effort had been made to take fingerprints off any of the cars that had been in the car park at the time.
It was also noted that the crime scene photographer, whilst at the scene for two and a half hours, only took five photographs, all of which were of Daniel Morgan's body and which only showed the surrounding area incidentally. The review noted that the guidance for murder investigations at the time read, 'In cases of sudden death where there are suspicious circumstances, or doubt as to how the death occurred, photographs should be taken of the scene and the body in situ'.
However, when the Scenes of Crime Officers who had been involved in the investigation was later interviewed, he said that he took six Polaroid photographs at the scene of the murder which were documented as having been recieved in evidence but were not found at the time of the review into the investigation in 2009.
It was further noted that in the photographs that did exist that coins found near the blood from Daniel Morgan and certain other debris had not been collected and examined.
On 31 July 1988 a member of the public contacted the Metropolitan Police reporting that while clearing out his garage, he had found a briefcase containing police property which had not been there when he moved into the premises in August 1987. Amonst other items, the briefcase had contained 15 photographs of Daniel Morgan's body. however, it was not later known whether they were different ones, or duplicates. The briefcase had also contained a Daniel Morgan Appeal for assistance poster, a CID report book with a photo in the back and various other stationery and police items. The items had been reported stolen from a detectives car on 21 October 1987.
It was also noted that a tyre mark shown in one image was not photographed on its own even though the regulations stated that they should have been. The Metropolitan Police General Orders stated, 'When clear impressions have been left at or near the scene and it appears likely that they may afford valuable evidence if the offender is caught, a suitable recording of the impressions should be taken. If the impressions are in mud, soft soil, damp sand or concrete, plaster-of-paris casts should be taken. Marks occurring in dry dusty soils, and those made in dust, or put down by muddy boots, are better photographed. If the impressions are in the open, they should be protected by upturned boxes, dust-bin lids or other suitable means. At a major scene of crime, if a photographer is available, it is as well to get the marks photographed before any attempt at casting, or, if it is felt necessary, an officer from the Laboratory will attend and prepare the casts'.
It was further noted that no attempt to seek any examination of the tyre mark could be identified in the available records.
It was also noted that no pathologist was called out and although no reason was given it was later assumed that if he didn't come out then he must been otherwise busy.
When Daniel Morgan's body was examined, he was found to have had £1,076.47 on him, comprisiong of two £50 notes, 97 £10 notes and £6.47 in coins. However, his Rolex watch, which he was thoughtt to have been wearing, was missing.
In 2007 the Scenes of Crime Officer, who had attended the scene of the murder on the night said, 'Whilst still at the scene, I was aware of a BMW motor car, close to the victim’s body. During my initial briefing I had been informed that this was the victim’s car. I saw persons, in plain clothes at this vehicle. I saw the boot open as well as the doors. I recall various items being removed from this car, including a briefcase and paperwork. This also caused me concern as nobody appeared to be taking any notes and there was no exhibits officer to record it'. No trace of the briefcase or documents was ever recorded.
It was noted that no exhibits officer was appointed at the crime scene and that no record was made at the time of items found at the scene or recovered other than in officers notes. In particular, there was no record of what was found in Daniel Morgan's car, including a number of files that were seen being taken out of his car boot by plain clothed police officers.
It was additionally noted that the Manager of Victoria Wines off-licence had said that she had seen Daniel Morgan carrying three or four beige files when he met her, however, it was not known whether he had returned them to the Southern Investigations office before he drove to the Golden Lion public house, or whether he had them with him, either on his person or in his car, when he got there.
The review stated, 'there is no record that those files were recovered from Daniel Morgan’s car or his body after his murder. It is not known what those files might have contained. It later transpired that Daniel Morgan was allegedly going to a meeting in connection with securing a loan required for a civil action against Southern Investigations by Belmont Car Auctions, a subsequent line of enquiry in the murder investigation. It is not improbable that those files contained information which may have been relevant to the murder investigation. There is no evidence that the Morgan One Investigation pursued this matter'.
The report concluded, 'No enquiries were made by the Morgan One Investigation as to what these files were. The lack of records showing when and by whom items were removed from Daniel Morgan’s car was a serious failing'.
Other failings noted included the failure to place protective bags over Daniel Morgan's head and hands to preserve evidence, failure by the scene of crime officers to wear protective clothing, shoes or gloves to prevent any contamination of evidence and failure to properly bag and label evidence, all of which made continuity of evidence compromised. the report concluded, 'The failure to record the proper handling and management of exhibits seized, or the location in which those exhibits were stored, was unacceptable. Evidence may have been lost, tampered with or contaminated. This failure had the potential to undermine any future prosecution'.
When the police went to see Daniel Morgan's business partner, no records from the time were made about how he or his wife responded to the news that Daniel Morgan had been murdered. however, two years later, a detective constable made a statement regarding his visit, stating,
'Daniel Morgan's business partner appeared extremely nervous and dry-mouthed. He gave me the impression of being frightened. I told him that his partner had been murdered, and he said he had been with him until 9 p.m. that night at the Golden Lion public house. We were in the dining room when I told him this. His wife was sitting in the lounge opposite watching TV only ten to twelve feet away approximately. She was aware of the conversation. She continued to watch the TV and made no move to turn away from it, even though she must have heard what I had to say. This appeared to me to be very strange behaviour. I asked Daniel Morgan's business partner if I could use the telephone to contact a Detective. I phoned to tell him that I was in the house with Daniel Morgan's business partner and that Daniel Morgan's business partner had been with Daniel Morgan that night. The telephone was in the same room as where his wife was watching television, and she continued to watch it. She took no part in the conversation whatever. I think I asked the detective if he wanted me to bring Daniel Morgan's business partner to Catford for interview, and the detective said that yes he did. I asked Daniel Morgan's business partner to accompany me to Catford Police Station and to bring the clothes that he was wearing earlier that night. I did not arrest him. I said to him 'My boss would like to see you at Catford tonight. Can you come with me?' He said 'yes'. I said 'What were you wearing tonight?' and he said 'These clothes' indicating the trousers and shirt he was wearing and other clothing. This I believe was a raincoat and a pair of shoes. There was possibly other clothing which I cannot now recall.
We went to Catford Police Station'.
When the detective was later questionened during the review he said thart he found the behaviour of Daniel Morgan's business partner and his wife that night to be odd. He said that Daniel Morgan's business partner appeared scared, looking both pale and sweaty, and his wife seemed petrified during the conversation. Although she must have been able to hear everything he said to her husbanmd, she sat rigidly in front of the television the whole time he was there, neither acknowledging him nor giving any indication of the impact of what he was telling her husband.
The other detective that had gone ti see Daniel Morgan's business partner agreed with his partners observations, and said, 'He looked very pale and waxen and I got the impression even before anything was said that he knew the purpose of our visit. His wife was watching TV in the front room. I recall that the other detective asked Daniel Morgan's business partner if he could use the telephone which he did, and I believe he spoke to the detective. He readily agreed to come with us and told his wife where he was going. I got the impression that feelings were a bit strained between him and his wife as she seemed to take no interest in what he said'.
However, it was noted that although both detectives became suspicious about Daniel Morgan's business partner's bahaviour, they didn't say anything at the time and no records were made.
It was noted that Daniel Morgan's business partner was not considered a suspect at first but that the observations of the two detectives that wnt to see him should have been reported and further that as Daniel Morgan's business partner had been the last person to have been with Daniel Morgan that he cshould have been fully interviewed, his clothes examined, his house searched, his car searched and his wife interviewed, all of whic would have been standard procedure at the time and whic didn't happen and that that was a serious failure of the initial investigation.
The report concluded the detective superintendnt, 'knowing that the man was Daniel Morgan’s business partner, and having been informed by a detective that he had been drinking with Daniel Morgan immediately before his death, should have considered whether Daniel Morgan’s business partner might be a suspect. Daniel Morgan’s business partner should have been the subject of immediate further enquiries, and his wife, Sharon Rees, should also have been interviewed as a matter of priority. The failure to do this meant that initial investigative opportunities were missed which could never be recovered'.
When Daniel Morgan’s business partner was taken to the police station he was identified as a friend of the detective sergeant as he was known by a number of people there although that information was not passed on to the detective superintendnet until December 1987.
A police constable that saw Daniel Morgan’s business partner at Catford police station when he was brought there at about 1.30am said:
It was also noted that Daniel Morgan’s business partner's clothing, whilst examined at the police station visually, was not kept as evidence or examined in detail and that no records were made as he had not been a suspect at the time. One forenic expert when asked why his clothes were not sent off for analysis said, 'There were two reasons. Initially, as I told you, within two or three hours of having been involved in this murder I did not consider Daniel Morgan’s business partner a suspect. Blood-staining or blood-splashing is clearly visible to an expert in that field and if the Detective Sergeant had considered that there was a possibility of blood being found that he could not see with the naked eye then he might have suggested that it goes to the Metropolitan Police Laboratory. However, it is my experience that if you cannot see it with the naked eye it is very unlikely that the Metropolitan Police are going to find it in their laboratory'.
It was also noted that during the examination that Daniel Morgan’s business partner was not asked whether the clothes they had examined had been the clothes that he had been wearing on the night.
However the review concluded, 'The visual search conducted would not necessarily have identified small blood splashes and other evidence which may have been present on Daniel Morgan’s business partner’s clothing. In addition, it would not necessarily have identified any fibres which may have been relevant to the investigation. Daniel Morgan’s business partner’s clothing (including his scarf, tie and gloves) and his shoes should have been examined by a forensic scientist. Not recovering Daniel Morgan’s business partner’s clothing and shoes for forensic analysis for blood marks was another significant failure of the Morgan One Investigation. There is no record that any attempt was made to trace the scarf, shirt, tie or gloves which Jonathan Rees was wearing at the Golden Lion public house on the night of the murder, or to consider their submission for forensic examination.
It was noted that after Daniel Morgan’s business partner was interviewed that he was asked to inform Daniel Morgan's wife that Daniel Morgan was dead and that he 'pulled a face but agreed to do so'. He then went with some other police officers and collected two of Daniel Morgan's wife's friend so that she would have someone there that she knew at the time, and one of the other police officers informed her of Daniel Morgan's death.
The review stated, 'The Panel has concerns regarding the conduct of the attending officers and the proposal that Daniel Morgan’s business partner inform Daniel Morgan’s wife about her husband’s death. In fact, Daniel Morgan’s business partner did not inform her, it was another detective constable'.
The establishment of the Major Incident Room and the murder investigation team began the following day, 11 March 1987. However, it was noted that at the time there were no specialist squads of detectives dedicated to dealing with murders and other serious crimes within the Metropolitan Police and negotiation with local commanders was required for the secondment of police officers from various divisions and departments to a murder investigation but such commanders were often very reluctant to lose staff for indeterminate periods. As such a Senior Investigating Officer had little or no control over who was attached to an enquiry, and staff often had little training for, and limited experience of, investigating murder and the quality of some of the officers seconded to the Morgan One Investigation was poor, with many of them being young and inexperienced. It was further noted that 8 members of the Catford Crime Squad, including the detective sergeant that had been intending to join Southern Investigations as a partner.
However, the members of the Catford Crime Squad were removed from the murder investigation team on 16 March 1987 after it was considered that the detective sergeants was too closely associated with Daniel Morgan’s business partner.
Excerts from Daniel Morgan’s business partner consisted of:
It was noted that it had been the detective sergeant that had taken the statement from Daniel Morgan's business partner and that he had been in the Golden Lion public house on the eveing og 9 March 1987 andwoulf have know that his statement was incorrect as he later said that in fact they had not met them in the Golden Lion but found that they were in the Dolphin public house across the street and that they had gone over and invited them back to the Golden Lion public house.
It was also noted that there were a number of things missing from Daniel Morgan's business partner's statement that they would have expected to have seen:
As such, the review concluded that, 'There was a significant failure by the detective sergeant to obtain important information from Daniel Morgan's business partner to inform the murder investigation. The detective sergeant did not ensure that information was included in the statement which he knew and in which he had a personal interest, his own name as one of the officers who had been at the Golden Lion public house on 9 March 1987, and the reason for the loan being sought. Daniel Morgan's business partner should have been questioned in much greater depth about what he knew about Daniel Morgan. The statement made by Daniel Morgan's business partner does not indicate that the detective sergeant asked robust questions about Daniel Morgan’s lifestyle and contacts when taking this statement'.
however, when the detective sergeant was questioned over the content of the statement, he said that it was never meant to be final or definitive statement and that it was the very beginning of the enquiry and that there was never any doubt that gaps would have to be filled in as the enquiry developed and other questions arose. He also said, 'It was handed into the system on the day I took it. It must have been read by almost everybody on that murder squad. I think it grossly unfair that after all that they accuse me of glossing parts over, they should have said something earlier if not satisfied with it. I remained on that squad and in direct contact with Daniel Morgans business partner on the instructions of the investigating officer and could easily have been instructed to take a fuller account'.
Daniel Morgans business partner was interviewed twice more, on 16 March and 20 March 1987 at which times he added the following:
16 March 1987
20 March 1987
It was noted that when Daniel Morgan was found that he had a tear in his trousers but that that tear was not looked into as a viable line of enquiry for 20 years. The tear recorded as:
It was said that although Daniel Morgan’s trousers were ripped across the waistband on the right-hand side and from the waistband down the right leg almost to his knee, that there had been no instruction to the forensic scientists to examine the clothing and shoes to determine whether the body had been moved or dragged. The report concluded, 'There is no evidence, within the material which has been made available to the Panel, of efforts to establish the reasons for, or significance of the very large tear in Daniel Morgan’s trousers and the level of force that it would have taken to cause such a tear. Nor was any request made by the Morgan One Investigation for any forensic examination of the tears in the trousers. No further action appears to have been taken about this matter until almost 20 years later, when the Abelard Two Investigation team requested some scientific analysis. This should have formed a line of enquiry from the moment Daniel Morgan’s body was discovered'.
When enquiries were made into the possibility of blood splashes it was determined that the assailant would not have nessecarily been covered with blood as the axe had not entered the soft tissues and had not repeatedly entered the same area and that there would not have been any blood splashed. The inquirie stated, 'the amount of blood likely to be splashed onto the assailant’s clothing would be limited, as the axe did not enter any soft tissue, only bone. For any blood splashing the axe would have to enter tissue or the assailant would have to make multiple strikes with the weapon into the same area of the body. Examination of the scene shows no blood splashing onto the cars nearby. Therefore, any blood traces on the assailant’s clothing would be minimal'.
A supplementary report on 24 February 1988 stated:
It was noted that the Golden Lion public house had been busy on the night of the murder. It had consisted of a saloon bar, a public bar and a function room, however, there was uncertainty as to exactly how many people had been inside the premises on the night of the murder. It was trhught that there had been 83 people in the pub at the time, 51 in the saloon bar between 7pm and 11pm, 16 in the public bar and 16 members of a women’s darts team in the function room and 11 individuals unidentiofied.
It was noted that in murder cases Personal Descriptive Forms were standard at the time along with individuals marking their location on a map but that not everyone completed one, including Daniel Morgan's business partner. In total 61 plans were completed with some couples using the same plan. The review concluded that there was no acceptable explanation within the material disclosed as to why Daniel Morgan's business partner was not required to mark his position within the Golden Lion public house on the night of the murder, nor why a Personal Descriptive Form was not completed for him, as was the policy at the time.
Out of all the witnesses, only two people recalled seeing someone that was considered to have been Daniel Morgan.
As such, it was noted that there was no definitive evidence as to where Daniel Morgan's business partner and Daniel Morgan had been sitting on the night of the murder, with the evidence stating that thety were either sitting directly opposite the saloon bar or were sitting in a separate raised area at the back of the bar, near the door leading to the rear car park.
It was also noted that a detective had thought htat the barmaid had been confused in her evidence about the time at which Daniel Morgan bought the crisps and drinks, stating that she could not remember serving Daniel Morgan at any time other than 9.20pm by whch time Daniel Morgan was dead. However, the review noted that there was no reason to beleive that Daniel Morgan had been dead at that time as the only evidence regarding his death was that he was found in the car park at 9.40pm.
The review stated, 'The barmaid was convinced that the man she had served with two packets of crisps was Daniel Morgan. She identified him from the photograph, and she described him accurately. Nobody else was identified as having bought two packets of crisps that night, and two packets of crisps were lying beside Daniel Morgan’s body when he was found. It is not surprising that the barmaid was unable to remember the specific time at which she served Daniel Morgan on 10 March 1987, and precisely who was sitting where, given that she would have served a number of people that night, both before and after the discovery of the body. No attempt was made to retrieve the till rolls from the bar, either on 10 March 1987 or subsequently. The till rolls might have given the time at which the crisps were bought by Daniel Morgan and might therefore have indicated when he was last in the bar. It is not known now whether such evidence could have been retrieved'.
House ito house enquiries were also undertaken, but it was noted that two leads in particular were not followed up. They were:
The police review stated that in the case of the first person, that the police had failed to consider that the two people that had planned the murder might have visited the pub the night before, noting that the dark corner of the car park appeared to have been carefully selected. Similarly, the report concluded that the statement of the second person and his friend who also saw the man looking through the fence, should have been looked into further.
Appeals for information resulted in the following:
However, they were all investigated but no useful information was identified.
An appeal for information was made in a BBC Crimewatch television programme broadcast on 23 April 1987. It sought the following:
After the broadcast of Crimewatch, the investigation team received information which led to several enquiries in London, Bridlington, Chester, Kent and Worcestershire. However, nothing of value emerged from these enquiries although it did prompt the West Yorkshire police to contact the murder investigation squad in relation to the Malta connection.
It was thought that it had been unusual for Daniel Morgan to have socialised with his business partners and his police friends and so the police interviewed 43 police officers who served, or who had served, at Catford Police Station regarding their meetings with Daniel Morgan's business partner and Daniel Morgan and found that 17 officers had met Daniel Morgan's business partner over the previous 2/3 years but that none of them had ever met Daniel Morgan.
The police also carried out investigations into the origin of the axe with no result. The transcript of a radio appeal stated:
'We are keen to trace the origin of the murder weapon, a small axe which was found at the scene. Made in China by Diamond brand, the axe is quite common and easily available for about £4.50. It has a 14 inch handle with a black four by six inch blade with a silver edge. The axe used in the murder had two strips of sticking plaster on the handle and didn’t appear to have any marks on it so we think it was quite new. If you’re a shopkeeper and have sold one recently, particularly in the South London area, we need to hear from you'.
However, the conclusion of the appeal was that the axe was quite common and easily available.
Efforts were also made to trace Daniel Morgan's Rolex watch. It was determined that he had insured the watch and when the police interviewed the insurer he produced a cy, a receipt for its purchase and a photograph of the watch and noted that the watch had had a unique serial number. However, no trace of the watch was found and it was stated that it was unclear as to whether he had actually been wearing one when he was murdered.
The police investigation also looked into why Daniel Morgan had gone to the Golden Lion public house, noting that he was not a regular there and that it was not on the way home for him or his business partner or the detective sergeant all of whom lived in different locations some distance from the Golden Lion, the pub itself being four miles from the office of Southern Investigations. The police added that they were also trying to establish why Daniel Morgan had parked in such a dark corner of the car park.
The review noted that it appeasred that Daniel Morgan's business partner, accompanied by Daniel Morgan in a separate car had met the detective sergeant by chance in Sydenham Road as he was investigating him for carrying a TV set and that they later agreed to meet in the Golden Lion of the Dolphin later that night. The detective sergeant said that he later saw Daniel Morgan's business partner's car parked in the car park og the Golden Lion and later webnt there with his friends for a drink but found that they were not there and then went over to the Dolphin where he found them and brought them over.
However, the police review stated that it was not possible to state conclusivly why Daniel Morgan and his business partner went there the following night, and further that whilst Daniel Morgan's business partner had said that the purpose had been to mee tteh associate to discuss the loan, the associate denied that any meeting was arranged. The issue of who knew hat Daniel Morgan was going to be at the Golden Lion public house on the night was also looked into and considered in one report, after lookig at over 200 statements, that only Daniel Morgan's business partner knew of the meeting with the possibility of the detective sergeant knowing. However, it was additionally noted later that the office manager also knew as he had stated that when Dasniel Morgan had left the office he had popped his head around his business partners door and say, 'I’ll see you in the Golden Lion at 7.30pm'.
The issue of why Daniel Morgan had parked his car in such a dark spot in the car park was also considered and it was determined to be unusual for him as he had a valuable BMW and had been careful about where he left it with several people stating that Daniel Morgan would not have been expected to park his car in a dark place where it might have been the subject of crime.
Telephone records were also checked. Howevver, it was noted that in early 1987 it was not possible to obtain itemised billing for landlines in the United Kingdom, and so that was not available at the time of Daniel Morgan’s murder. However, the police were able to get itemised billing for outgoing calls from mobile phones.
In particular this showed that Daniel Morgan's business partner rarely made calls on Sundays but that on the Sunday, 8 March 1987, Daniel Morgan's business partner had made a call to the number of the builder that was later tried for Daniel Morgan's murder in 2009. However, no action along that line was taken. It was heard that the number had actually been identified as being that of the builder's wife and that she was not internviewed until 8 February 1988 at which time she said that Daniel Morgan's business partner had called to speak to her husband about doing some recovery work for Southern Investigations. It was further noted that the builder had been on bail at the time having been charged with an unrelated offence and would only be seen in the presence of a solicitor. However, no enquiries were carried out to ascertain further information about the builder, including any criminal record he had, or who his associates were.
The review concluded, 'The failure adequately to follow up the only call made by Daniel Morgan's business partner from his car phone on 8 March 1987, two days before the murder, which was to the builders wife's landline, was significant. This was the only call made to this number and represented one of only a few occasions when Daniel Morgan's business partner used his car phone on a Sunday during the period covered by the call data'.
When the called on Daniel Morgan's business partner's phone for 10 March were analysed it was found that he had a few in the morning and then nothing until shortly after the time that Daniel Morgan weas murdered. The calls were:
As such, it was noted that Daniel Morgan's business partner had been unable to account adequately for the two telephone calls which were made to his car phone at 9.04 pm and 9.21 pm on 10 March 1987.
However, it was further noted that no enquiries were made to determine whether any of the other interested parties in the case had had car phones.
When the relationship between Daniel Morgan and his business parter was looked into it was determined that they had beoth been involved with the maanager of the estate agents from across the road to Southern Investigations. Wehn the woman was interviewed she said that she had started seeing Daniel Morgan in December 1985, saying, 'we have had a sexual relationship though not so much in recent times'. she said that it begam in December 1985 and lasted only a few weeks but that she was good friends with Daniel Morgan.
Analysis of Daniel Morgan’s car phone records, which started on 1 January 1987, showed only two contacts with the estate agents’ for whom the woman worked, and one call to her home address. However, when the police examined Daniel Morgan's business partner's phone records, they found that 60 phone calls had been made from his car phone to her office in the three and a half months prior to the middle of March 1987, and four calls to her home. When the estate agent manager was questioned, she denied having a sexual relationship with Daniel Morgan's business partner.
Analysis of calls made in the ten days prior to Daniel Morgan’s murder, five calls to her were made, and on the day that Daniel Morgan was murdered he called her at 11.06am.
It was said that when the details of the relationship with the estate agent manager first came out it was condiered to have been a possible motive for Daniel Morgan's murder.
Following the discovery of his body the police, which involved the detective sergeant that was planning on joining Southern Investigations, said that they thought that he had been murdered by someone connected with one of the divorce or debt collecting cases that Daniel Morgan had been involved with. It was also later stated that it was thought that he might have been 'silenced' because he had known too much.
However, shortly after the police said that they started to develop suspicions against Daniel Morgan's business partner and then later still against the detective sergeant, citing:
Regarding point 4 it was noted that Daniel Morgan's businesss partner and the detective sergeant both visited the associate and questioned him but that when the detective sergeant called the murder team he only offered information regarding two women that Daniel Morgan was alleged to have been seeing and didn't disclose the conversation he nad Daniel Morgan's business partner had had with the associate.
THe review stated that that was a breach of the general duty not to disclose information improperly, by allowing Daniel Morgan's businesss partner to overhear any other information that the business associate had to impart.
To place Daniel Morgan's businesss partner relationship with the murder team into perspective, one detective said, 'because of the help Daniel Morgan's businesss partner was giving us and his obvious friendship with certain Police Officers in the Investigation Team I got the feeling that he was almost an extension of the Squad'.
A few days later it was said that the detective sergeant asked to be removed from the murder team because of his relationship with Daniel Morgan's businesss partner and asked whether he could take his annual leave, finishing his dutiies on 13 March 1987 and he was released to normal duties.
The detective superintendent said, 'On Sunday 15th March 1987 it was clear to me that the friendship between the detective sergeant and Daniel Morgan's businesss partner could have an adverse effect on the investigation of this murder. I felt that all aspects of the police enquiry were being discussed by these two men. I therefore saw the detective sergeant and told him that as from Monday 16th March he would no longer be employed on the enquiry but would resume his normal role as the officer in charge of the Crime Squad at Catford. The detective sergeant did state that he wanted to return to normal duty as his friendship with Daniel Morgan's businesss partner was suffering. I subsequently learnt that he had previously spoken to another detective about his employment on the Murder Squad'.
It was later concluded that the detective superintendent made the correct decision to remove the detective sergeant from the investigation because he had a potential conflict of interest due to his friendship with Daniel Morgan's businesss partner. However, it was noted that it also appeared that there may also have been concern that the detective sergeant was leaking information about the enquiry to Daniel Morgan's businesss partner although that was not recorded in the decision to remove him.
When finance was considered as a motive it was noted that the alleged purpose for meeting at the Golden Lion on the night of 10 March 1987 had been to see the associate about a £10,000 loan required by the High Court in relation to the case between Belmont Car Auctions and Southern Investigations. The court action for breach of contract and negligence relating to the loss of monies collected during the auction at which Southern Investigations were providing security and Daniel Morgan's businesss partner had reported being the victim of a robbery and losing the money.
As such, the police obtained all statements and copy crime reports about the robbery which took place on 18 March 1986. The investigation found the following:
It was noted that despite a police investigation, no arrests were ever made in respect of the robbery and the money was never recovered.
The robbery had led Belmont Car Auctions to take legal action against Southern Investigations, which was what the £10,000 for the court that the partners were trying to secure was for. It was heard that following Daniel Morgan's murder that the police went to the offices of Southern Investigations on the morning of 11 March 1987 and took the file, number 4208, along with some files on a matrimonial case that related to a woman that Daniel Morgan had been having an affair with but that the files were never seen again and Daniel Morgan's business partner later claimed that there was no Belmont Car Auctions file.
The files were said to have been collected by the detective sergeant that had wanted to become a partner of Southern Investigations and another member of the crime squad. The office manager at Southern Investigations said that when the police arrived he was asked for the files and then looked up the location of the Belmont Car Auctions file, which was numbered 4208, and then retrieved the matrimonial file whilst Daniel Morgan's business partner retrieved the Belmont Car Auctions file, and that they were then both given to the detective sergeant and that to his knowledge, they had not been returned to the office by 30 March 1987.
It was noted that the Belmont Car Auctions file was later considered to have been very significant in the case because it provided a motive for Daniel Morgan’s murder.
The records later showed that the matrimonial file had been handed to the police on 30 March 1987, the same day the office manager said that he had given iot to the police on 11 March 1987 and that there was no record of the Belmont Car Auctions file.
When Daniel Morgan's business partner was arrested on 3 April 1987, he denied having given the Belmont Car Auctions file to the detective sergeant, saying, 'The office manager could not have given the file to anyone as it doesn’t exist, except for part of the litigation document that I maintain and are still in my possession'. When he was told that the office manager had been shown the file, he said that that was 'utter and complete nonsense'.
When the detective sergeant was arrested on 3 April 1987 he denied having ever had possession of the Belmont Car Auctions file or trying to destroy them, adding that trying to destroy it would have been futile as there would have been countless copies of it. When the other crime squad officer was questioned over the removal of the files he said, 'I did not recall removing any files or any documents which were not personal to Morgan' and added that the detective sergeant removed nothing.
The police later contacted the solicitors acting for Belmont Car Auctions and Southern Investigations to retrieve copies of all the documents that they had on the case, including pleadings. Documents provided by solicitors for Belmont Car Auctions on 16 November 1987 included a security report written by Daniel Morgan's business partner for Belmont Car Auctions in 1986, Southern Investigations’ costings for 'night security officers' dated 7 March 1986, Southern Investigations' invoices dated 8 March 1986 and 14 March 1986, a summary of cash handled by Southern Investigations and a Southern Investigations’ prospectus.
However, it was noted that on 14 January 1988 Daniel Morgan's business partner informed the solicitors acting for Belmont Car Auctions that he was unable to provide four documents which he said had been seized by the Metropolitan Police in April 1987 in connection with their investigations into Daniel Morgan’s death.
It was later revealed that people that said they had seen the file indicated that it had had content removed, with one detective saying that when he first saw it it was two inches thick but that when he later saw it it was about an inch thick.
When a detective superintendent in the case was later questioned over the files on 15 April 1988, he said:
When the office manager was questioned over the file in 2002, he said that he had handed the Belmont Car Auctions file to the detective sergeant on the morning of the murder and that when he saw the file about a year later that he was 'astonished to see that the majority of the file was missing'.
On 17 February 2003 he said, 'The Belmont Car Auctions file was about two inches thick. The next time I saw this file was at a police station some six or seven months later. I recognised it as the same cardboard folder I had handed over. There were some handwritten notes inside made by someone that I recognised. However, the file itself was a lot thinner than it had been when I handed it over. It was now less than an inch thick'.
The police review concluded in part, 'There is a clear contradiction between the office manager’s assertion that the Belmont Car Auctions file and the matrimonial case file were given to the detective sergeant, and the detective sdergeant’s and Daniel Morgan's businesss partner’s denial of this'.
It was also stated that anohter visit was made by the detective sergeant and another detective constable on either 12 or 13 March 1987 when other documents were removed but that there was no record of what. The detective constable that had gone said, 'we took possession of a number of documents from the desk of Daniel Morgan which were handed to the detective constable at Sydenham Police Station'. He later said that a number of files were removed and placed in a bag which the detective sergeant took away in his own private vehicle, believing that they were then handed to the exhibits officer. However, no reciept was found for the items or any record found in the copy exhibits book of any items taken from Southern Investigations by the detectives on 12 or 13 March 1987.
Belmont Car Auctions later instigated civil proceedings on 4 April 1986 against Southern Investigations for negligence and breach of contract to recover its losses as a result.
It was noted that on 19 March 1987, information was recieved stating that Daniel Morgan 'was of the opinion that the robbery on his business partner on 18.3.86 was a put up job'.
The office manager later said that Daniel Morgan had appeared upset over the Belmont Car Auctions’ case and that 'at one stage he was going to lodge his own defence to the action thereby dissociating himself with the whole transaction', adding that 'the money was not going to come from the company'.
However, the civil action was settled at Court on 18 July 1990. The terms of the settlement provided that the Defendants (Daniel Morgan’s widow, and Daniel Morgan's business partner) were to pay the Plaintiff (Belmont Car Auctions) the sum of £18,000 plus costs.
When the details of the robbery came to light the police began to suspect that the work Southern Investigations had done for Belmont Car Auctions, the subsequent alleged robbery of Daniel Morgan's business partner and the ensuing civil action provided a motive for Daniel Morgan’s murder. The detective superintendent said, 'The office manager alleged that MORGAN intended to lodge a separate defence and was keen to contest the action. This would obviously have placed the three Police Officers, including the detective segeant, in a very difficult position'.
In a letter dated 27 June 1990 the detective superindendent explained why he had grounds for reasonable suspicion that the three police officers involved in the Belmont Car Auctions case had been involved in Daniel Morgan’s murder. His reasons in the letter were as follows:
The detective superintendent said, 'It was my firm belief that these officers could have been involved in the murder of Daniel MORGAN. The three of them, including the detective sergeant,, were all highly paid Police officers and eventually would each have gained a substantial Police pension. If the Police Service had known they were acting as Security Guards I feel they would have faced dismissal and between them they would have lost pay and pension rights totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds. I feel that MORGAN who was clearly unpredictable, could have caused them a problem and therefore this was a motive for Murder'.
He added in conclusion that out of 200 statement it appeared that the detective sergeant had been the only person that had known that Daniel Morgan was going to be at the Golden Lion public house on the night of 10 March 1987.
On 3 April 1987 the police arrested six men, including three CID officers in an operation which was described as having been so secret that only three of detective superintendents team knew about it. However, they were all later released.
The review stated that by 31 March 1987, the detective superintendent had determined the following:
In consequence it was determined to arrested the six men and search warrants were obtained. By that time the murder squad had been reorganised with all the exisintg officers replaced axcept for the detective superintendent.
A document title, 'Operation' was drawn up and handed to the teams of arresting and searching officers to inform them of the strategy for the proposed arrests and searches. However, the document was later critised for being too vague considering the scale of the operation and its optimal objectives.
The plan involved arresting the men and searching their homes and the offices of Southern Invesetigations. It also encompassed taking the three detectives to police stations in Bromley, Orpington and Bexleyheath, Daniel Morgan's business partner to Catford police station and the two brothers to Croydon police station.
The plan also stated, 'In connection with the searches we are looking for a Rolex watch, elastoplast and any signs that axes or other hand held tools have elastoplast on the handles. Also correspondence relating to any connection with Southern Investigations or Belmont Car Auctions'. However, it was stated that the plan did not encompass other objectives such as taking clothing into evidence and in the case of the two brother's, officers were only briefed to search for the Rolex watch. The review concluded, 'The ‘Operation’ document was inadequate to inform the officers involved of what was required of them during the arrests of the six named individuals and the consequential searches. It provided a very limited list of the articles to be seized during the searches and did not instruct officers to look for any particular clothing or other general items. The ‘Operation’ document should have contained more information for the six teams of officers conducting the searches'.
It was also noted that the Operation was further comprimised after it was heard that details of it had been leaked to the press on 2 April 1987, the day before it was carried out.
THe day after rthe arrests the Daily Mirror published a report about the arrests and on 2 November 1987 one of the writers provided a statement to the polices stating that they 'had received a tip that three Policemen were involved with the murder of Daniel Morgan and were being questioned by Detectives'. She said that after recieving the tip she attempted to verify the information by contacting a number of her associates, including the Press Bureau at New Scotland Yard or the South London area Press Liaison Officer as well as the detective superintendent, but could not contact him. she also said that she had contacted Southern Investigations and it was thought that she might well have warned Daniel Morgan's business partner of the impending operation.
It was said that although no media reports regarding the arrests on 3 April 1987 appeared until the following day, it was clear that the fact that police officers were to be arrested was known to persons inside and outside the murder investigation team, and that that information was passed to journalists. The review concluded that, 'It is very probable that some, if not all, of those arrested had warning of the arrests, which would have enabled them to take any action they thought necessary prior to the arrests and afforded them the opportunity to ensure that no incriminating material, should such have existed, was to be found in property owned by them. This was a major compromise of the Morgan One Investigation. The source of the leak has not been identified with any certainty, nor is it known whether the story was leaked for financial gain, to protect someone, or for some other reason. The person or persons who leaked the information originally would have known they should not have disclosed the information. Therefore, this was a deliberate and corrupt act'.
It was said that the leak was one of the early causes of concern about possible police officer corruption during the Daniel Morgan murder investigation.
It was later determiend that one of the detectives on the case had brough an ex-policeman into the murder investigation room on 2 April 1987. The detective was later removed from the case. However, Daniel Morgan's business partner later made a complaint stating that the detective had allowed a reporter from the Today newspaper into the murder squad incident room who had then obtained details of his home address, telephone number and personal details. He later said that an unamed police officer had told him that the detective had received payment for information supplied to the newspaper about him and that he had heard the sum of £5,000 mentioned as the sum involved, adding, 'it was only rumour he had heard and that he had nothing on which to base his allegations'.
When the police interviewed the two Today reporters who had worked on the Daniel Morgan murder and the News Editor responsible for payments, to establish whether there was any evidence to confirm the complaint they declined to answer any questions on legal advice.
When the detective that was alleged to have brought the ex-policeman into the murder squad investigation room was questioned in June 1989 he admitted brining an ex-detective into the room but did not say when that happened, however, another detective said in June 1989 that he was sure that it had been the day before the arrests.
In November 1988 a detective sergeant made a statement that 'no members of the Press were permitted access to the incident office because of the sensitive nature of the information displayed on the notice boards. This policy was strictly adhered to'.
When the detective that had brouhtt the other ex-detective into the murder squad investigation room was questioned, he completely denied the allegation but was far from convincing. It was noted that he had been a personal friend of the man he was alleged to have brought itno the room and it wasnoted that hte ex-detective hadh had numerous contacts in Fleet Street, and had worked from an office at Briefs Wine Bar, where his brother was a partner with a solicitor who by June 1989 serving a term of imprisonment for his involvement in the Brinksmat enquiry.
Daniel Morgan's business partner was arrested at 6.45am on 3 April 1987 and taken to Catford police station. The warrant stated that they were looking for 'files, diaries & documents relating to the business carried out by Southern Investigations' and they found two pieces of adhesive tape, adhesive tape and protective backing for adhesive tape, a Band Aid box containing adhesive tape and a ‘cut-throat’ razor. However, in his car they found a police file and a police property bag containing a screwdriver. when he was asked about the items found in his car Daniel Morgan's business partner said that the detective sergeant had left them there the day before when they had attended court together.
The review oncluded that 'There is no evidence among the papers available to the Panel of any action having been taken by the detective superintendent in relation to the police file and evidence bag found in Daniel Morgan's business partner’s car. There is no evidence that the detective sergeant was questioned about the matter. This was a serious omission for which no explanation was given. This was a matter which should have been referred for immediate investigation, as it indicates possible misconduct the detective sergeant. It is also indicative, at the very least, of the very close and unprofessional relationship which the detective sergeanthad with Daniel Morgan's business partner. Daniel Morgan's business partner should not have had possession of a police file or a police property bag containing evidence'.
It was noted that the detective superintendent questioned Daniel Morgan's business partner in the police car on the way to the police sttion. However, the later review stated that he should not having, saying, 'The sdetective sduperintendent should not have engaged in conversation with Daniel Morgan's business partner on the way to the police station. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Code of Practice C, states that questions should not be put except at a police station unless delay would lead to certain stated consequences, which did not apply in this case. The effect of the exchange was to give Daniel Morgan's business partner advance warning of what he was going to be questioned about, and, more importantly, what police knew and did not know. However, both the detective superintendent and another detective present acted correctly in recording the conversation in the car'.
When Daniel Morgan's business partner was interviewed at Catford police station he identified an employee of Southern Investigations, the two brothers an ex-detective and Daniel Morgan as having carried out security duties at Belmont Car Auctions on behalf of Southern Investigations on various occasions, adding that he himself had been present at every auction. However, the police review noted that there was no confirmed evidence to corroborate that Daniel Morgan had been there other than one person that said he thought he had seen Daniel Morgan there on a few occasions.
When he was then questioned about whether police officers had been present at Belmont Car Auctions on the nights when Southern Investigations provided security Daniel Morgan's business partner referred to the other three police officers, including the detective sergeant, stating that he had seen them there along with officers from the Stolen Vehicle Squad but denied that they had been there at his request. when he was told that a police officer had said that he had paid him £4 an hour for his services at Belmont Car Auctions, Daniel Morgan's business partner denied payiong him any money at all and denied making payments to any police officer for work at Belmont Car Auctions.
When asked how payments were made to the security guards who worked at Belmont Car Auctions, Daniel Morgan's business partner said that they were paid by cheque at the end of each week and when he was asked if these details were contained within the Southern Investigations accounting system and replied that they were. However, another police officer made a statement on 7 April 1987 stating that he had worked at Belmont Car Auctions as a security guard and that he had been paid between £25 and £35 per night and £20 on Saturday mornings, in cash.
When he was asked whether he knew that solicitors for Belmont Car Auctions had contacted had contacted the three police officers said to have worked there, and what he thought their reaction was and whether they had expressed concern about possible disciplinary proceedings because of their involvement, Daniel Morgan's business partner said, 'the officers did not need to advise me of possible discipline proceedings as a result of this totally unfounded allegation made by Belmont Auctions. As far as I can remember all three officers have purchased vehicles through Belmont Auctions at the time of their attendance'.
He also said that there had been no discussion about the Belmont Car Auctions case in the Golden Lion public house on the night of 9 March 1987 because 'Danny and myself believed we had found a satisfactory solution to the problem and we agreed not to discuss the matter further. As it soured the conversation'.
When he was asked why Daniel Morgan had parked his car in a very dark car park at the Golden Lion public house on 9 March 1987, Daniel Morgan's business partner said, 'I suspect he felt his car would be safer out of the way'.
When he was asked about how the meeting at the Golden Lion had been arranged, he said that it was the result of a phone call earlier in the day with the detective sergeant asking if they wanted to meet for a pint that night, adding that he didn't think he had seen the detective sergeant that day before the meeting in the public house.
however, it was noted that during the the interview, the detective superintendent said, 'on the night of the murder you told me that apart from the Monday and Tuesday the 9th and 10th of March, Danny hadn’t been in the Golden Lion for over 2 months?', to which Daniel Morgan's business partner replied, 'Yes I think that’s about right'. However, the police review noted 'This is the first occasion on which anything which was said by Daniel Morgan's business partner in the early hours of 11 March 1987 was referred to or recorded. This question indicates that the meeting on 9 March 1987 was discussed in the early hours of 11 March 1987. It also indicates that Daniel Morgan's business partner had referred to Daniel Morgan being in the Golden Lion public house two months previously. There was no note of this meeting. It is profoundly unsatisfactory that this first meeting was not recorded. It might well have enabled further questions to Jonathan Rees and others, and further investigative activity'.
Daniel Morgan's business partner then said that Daniel Morgan had decided to go back to the Golden Lion public house on 10 March 1987 because Daniel Morgan had said 'he was attracted to a blond barmaid and secondly that Sid and his crew may have been in there'. Daniel Morgan's business partner also said that Daniel Morgan had tried to buy the barmaid a drink on the previous evening, but that 'he was being obviously over charming to her'. However, when the police made inquiries they found that the barmaid at the Golden Lion public house had no memory of any man meeting Daniel Morgan’s description or any other man behaving in the way described.
He added that the purpose of the meeting on the evening of 10 March 1987, which he said had been arranged with the associate, had been to try to arrange a loan to cover the £10,000.
He added that the associate had been bragging that he had numerous very wealthy contacts who could be persuaded to lend the money and that both he and Daniel Morgan 'never believed for one second that he was capable of such financial arrangements'. He said that the associate Daniel Morgan, in his presence, that he would speak to someone that day andarranged to meet them later at the Golden Lion public house, but added, 'As we expected neither he nor his wealthy friend attended'.
Daniel Morgan's business partner was also questioned about the telephone calls that he had made that evening but was unable to account for the 9.04pm and 9.21pm calls.
It was noted that there had been many inconsistencies between the evidence given by Daniel Morgan's business partner and others and that when presented with conflicting evidence, he had disputed it. Towards the end of the interview, when it was put to him that there was a list of ten people whom he had called 'a liar' during his interviews his responce was to question the police's 'inept interpretation of people’s statements'.
It was later noted that the following issues were not raised with Daniel Morgan's business partner during his interviews:
The detective sergeant was arrested at his home at 6.40am on 3 April 1987.
He was 40 yedars old and had joined the Metropolitan Police on 31 May 1965, became a Detective Constable on 26 August 1975, and a Detective Sergeant in June or July 1978. He had been close friends with Daniel Morgan's business partner for between four and five years and became implicated in the murder through his suspected involvement in providing security for Southern Investigations at Belmont Car Auctions.
After his arrest he was taken to Belvedere Police Station and his home searched but no items were seized. however, he had had a knife on him when he was arrested, however, it was noted that it was not examined forensically to see whether there was any link between it and the scoring on the axe used to murder Daniel Morgan.
When he was questioned as to how he came about to arranging to meet Daniel Morgan's business partner at the Golden Lion he gave a different account to that of Daniel Morgan's business partner, stating that he had met him in Sydenham Road and that they had had a conversation and agreed to go to the Golden Lion later that night. He added that he had no memory of Daniel Morgan's business partner and Daniel Morgan arranging to meet again in the Golden Lion public house the next day and that he could not remember the Belmont Car Auctions civil action being discussed. He also said that he had used the Golden Lion public house previously and had met both Daniel Morgan's business partner and Daniel Morgan there, but not regularly.
The review later noted, 'The detective sergeant gave a completely different account of why he met with Daniel Morgan and Daniel Morgan's business partner in the Golden Lion public house on 9 March 1987, from that given by Daniel Morgan's business partner at the time. THe detective sergeant claimed Daniel Morgan's business partner and Daniel Morgan had pulled into the side of the road as he was dealing with an incident and that the he had spoken to Daniel Morgan's business partner and arranged to meet later that day. Daniel Morgan's business partner denied that there was any meeting on the road during the late afternoon of 9 March 1987 at which the later meeting, at the Golden Lion public house, was planned. This apparent inconsistency should have been explored further at the time. In 2020, however, Daniel Morgan's business partner said this meeting had taken place'.
When he was asked the Belmont Car Auctions case he confirmed that he had introduced the director to Daniel Morgan and said that he had attended the auctions 'on a couple of occasions but more as friend of the director than anything else'. He said that he had never been to the car auctions whilst on duty and had gone there 'hoping for some reward all be it cheap car or something in fact I bought my car from the director the one I have got now'.
He added that he was not involved in the civil action by Belmont Car Auctions, although he had received a letter from the solicitors acting for Belmont Car Auctions asking him for an affidavit. however, he added that as far as he was concerned that the matter was dead and that he would never have been called, stating that the director at Belmont Car Auctions had assured him that he wouldn't and that he knew that Daniel Morgan's business partner would not either. However, when it was put to him that Daniel Morgan ‘intended to contest the action, you were going to be called as a witness which would put your future in serious jeopardy and you set him up with a phoney meet’, the detective sergeant said, 'wouldn’t be capable of doing that. I could never condone a man dying in that way'.
However, he was later challenged by a detective, who said, 'I am not alleging you intended to keep the meet I am saying you tricked Daniel Morgan into going to the Golden Lion expecting to meet you whilst you were in fact at home, you and Daniel Morgan's business partner had arranged for someone when he left to kill him'. The detective sergeant replied, 'that is entirely not true, why would Daniel Morgan want to meet me two days running for a specific appointment?'.
When he was asked to account for his movements on the evening of 10 March 1987 he said that he had finished work at 5.30pm and gone home and stayed there all night, going to bed at 10.30pm. He noted that his son had been at home with a friend when he arrived and that his wife returned shortly after and that at 9pm he suggested that his son's friend gshould go home. However, it was noted that his alibi was not checked and that the failure to do so was a serious omission.
The detective sergeant was released without charge on 3 April 1987 and on 8 September 1987 he went on sick leave, remaining so until he was midacally discharged from the Metropolitan Police on 20 March 1988.
It was noted that he again agreed to speak to the police on 3 February 1988 at which time he stated that he had been receiving psychiatric treatment and that he had been advised not to answer any questions, and during the interview he didn't answer any questions.
One of the other detectives arrested had been a 35-year-old who was attached to Plumstead Police Station and who had previously worked in the Catford Crime Squad with the detective sergeant. He was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Daniel Morgan on 3 April 1987, having been implicated in the murder through his suspected involvement in providing security for Southern Investigations at Belmont Car Auctions, and the related civil court proceedings.
He had been arrested at his home at 6.45am and taken to the custody suite at Orpington Police Station. Whenhe was cautioned he said, 'My conscience is clear. I have got absolutely nothing to worry about'. When his home was searched the police found a folder containing correspondence concerning the Belmont Car Auctions civil case whic hwas seized.
He admitted to failing to report that he had people at Belmont Car Auctions on 3 March 1986, one of the people being his cousin, as he was required toi do or that he had noted the fact that he had entered licensed premises, adding that there was nothing sinister about his failure to record what happened that afternoon. He also denied having worked at Belmont Car Auctions, or being paid to work there, stating that he had attended at Belmont Car Auctions to assist his cousin on several dates and that he knew that some of the other police officers had also attended in order to buy cars.
He also acknowledged that he had been contacted by Belmont Car Auctions lawyers as a potential witness after the robbery on 18 March 1986 and noted that he had not informed his senior officers about the letters because 'this was a family dispute which, because of these letters, had caused a rift between my mother and my uncle'. He initially denied having supplied the addresses of Daniel Morgan, Daniel Morgan's business partner and the two brothers, including information about one of the briother's criminal records, to a solicitor but when he was shown a hand-written document, he aggreed that he had done so although denied providing information on convitions or using the police computer to get that informastion, adding that he thought that information had been given by Daniel Morgan's business partner to the detective sergeant, adding that he had given that information to assist his cousin.
He added that he had gone straight home from Belmont Car Auctions on 18 March 1986 and similarly gone straight home from work on 10 March 1987.
He said that he considered the detective sergeatn a friend but had only been out with him twice, once with their wives and once to a Masonic meeting.
He was released without charge at 11.50pm on 3 April 1987.
The other detective had been in the Anti-Terrorist Branch of the Metropolitan Police and had been 34-years-old at the time and had previously worked in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Catford and was friends with the detective sergeant. He was implicated in Daniel Morgan’s murder through his suspected involvement in providing security for Southern Investigations at Belmont Car Auctions. He was interviewed at Bromley Police Station.
He said that the last time he saw the detective sergeant was at a Masonic meeting on on Wednesday 25 March 1987 in Penge at which time he and the other detective had discussed Daniel Morgan's murder as they had known that the detective sergeant had been on the investigation team. He said that the last time he saw Daniel Morgan's business partner was at the end of March 1986 and when he was asked whether Daniel Morgan's business partner had been a Mason, he replied, 'I don’t think so. I don’t know him that well'.
When he was asked whether he had acted as a security officer at the actions, he said, 'I was not employed by Southern Investigations, and I would like to explain why I was there. The detective sergeant and another man had approached me because the director had been in touch with Southern Investigations and they in the company could not produce the manpower needed at short notice. I was asked if I would go to the auctions with them to back up the director. This was primarily because he was a cousin of the other detective and in distress. I did it in my own time and as I understood it I was helping my friend and his cousin and that this was helping to allay complaints against Police and prevent crime maybe. In no way did I put the Force into disrepute or behave in any way other than would be expected'.
He ackowledged recieving letter from solicitors acting for Belmont Car Auctions but said that although he had written a draft responce, he had not resopnded to it yet or informed his senior officers as it was a civil matter.
When he was asked whether he had received a cut of the £18,000 supposed to have been stolen from Daniel Morgan's business partner, he said that he had not.
He saidf that he had finished work at 7pm on 10 March 1987 and gone straight home.
It was noted that both he and the detective sergeant had been Freemasons, an issue that was later looked into.
When he was asked whether he had killed Daniel Morgan he denied doing so and said he did not know who had killed him.
He was released without charge at 11.27pm on 3 April 1987.
Both of the detectives arrested, not including the detective sergeatn, later launched a civil action against the Metropolitan Police seeking damages for wrongful arrest.
In 1990, during the civil proceedings bought by the two detectives, the following statement was read out, 'As the Commisioner of Police for the Metropolis now recognises and publicly acknowlegdes those arrests should never have taken place. There are not and never were any reasonable grounds to implicate these plaintiffs in such a horrendous crime. The defendant appears today by counsel to apologise unreservedly for the immense hurt and distress caused to the plaintiffs by their unlawful arrest, the search of their homes and their detention and questioning and much regrets the unfortunate publicity which resulted therefrom. As a symbol of that regret, the defendant has agreed to pay each of the plaintiffs a substantial sum by way of damages and to meet their costs in bringing these proceedings. In these circumstances, the plaintiffs feel that their reputations have been vindicated and are content for this matter to rest. They are also happy to accept that at all material times those concerned in their arrest and detention were acting in good faith'.
Further, the review of the case concluded, 'No grounds to justify the arrest of th two detectives for murder have been found among the papers available to the Panel. There were sufficient grounds to arrest the detective sergeant on suspicion of the murder of Daniel Morgan. This was because, in addition to his suspected involvement with Belmont Car Auctions, he had been with Daniel Morgan on 9 March 1987 in the same location in which he was murdered the following day, and because the police were investigating whether the detective sergeant had taken relevant files from the offices of Southern Investigations, and whether he had deliberately taken an inaccurate statement from Daniel Morgan's business partner'.
The younger of the two brothers, Daniel Morgan's business partner's brother-in-law had been 26-years-old at the time of Daniel Morgan’s murder and was implicated in the murder through his involvement with Southern Investigations in providing security for Belmont Car Auctions. He was arrested at 6.50am at his home on 3 April 1987 and taken to Croydon Police Station. his interview was recorded, but it was noted that tape recording was only just being rolled out at the time and the other interviews were not recorded.
However, he said that he had not committed any offence he was not prepared to say anything and after a short while the interview was stopped. He was interviewed again but similarly refused to answer questions. At the second interview he was shown a photograph of a Rolex watch and asked if he had ever seen a similar one and also two photographs of the murder weapon, one in black and white and the other in colour, and invited to comment on whether he had ever seen or handled a similar axe. It was said that the questions were important, as responses could have been used to refute any explanation he might have offered if he was later forensically linked to the murder weapon, or if it could have been proved that he had purchased it.
The elder brother had been 28-years-old at the time of the murder and was originally implicated in the murder through his involvement with Southern Investigations in providing security for Belmont Car Auctions. When the police arrived at his home at 6.30am on 3 April 1987 they were informd that he had gone off to work. The police searched his home and several items were taken.
The elder brother later telephoned the police at 7.40pm and said he would attend Croydon Police Station, stating that he would 'be there in about 40 minutes', however, he was arrested at his home at 7.55pm and taken to Croydon Police Station. However, he similarly refused to answer any questions. His interview was also taped.
It was noted that three other people were arrested and five others interviewed.
The review concluded that in the case of Person Y19, he should not have been eliminated without further investigation it being noted that he was known to be violent and that his wife, who provided his alibi, was afraid of him. It was further stated that the bloodstained grey jacket taken from Person Y19’s house should have been recorded in the Exhibits Book and submitted for forensic examination and the fact that it was not forensically examined and could not now be found wass a significant failure of the Morgan One Investigation.
The review noted that in the case of the other two arrests, that although the Panel can see no reason to support their arrest, the two brothers should have been the subject of further investigation as neither could account for their movements on the night of the murder, and an attempt should have been made to determine whether they could be eliminated from the Morgan One Investigation.
Four other suspects interviewed were:
Whilst a lot of effort was put into looking into the connection with Daniel Morgan's business partner and the Belmont Car Auctions as the primary line of enquiry, several other lines of enquiry were examined, including:
It was determioned that Daniel Morgan had travelled to Malta to repossess a Range Rover motor vehicle on behalf of a finance company in the first week of February 1987. At the same time it was noted that the West Yorkshire Police were carrying out a £1,000,000 fraud investigation involving two companies and seven named individuals for which five people were later convicted and that Daniel Morgan's repossession of the Range Rover was connected. It was determined that officers had intended to meet Daniel Morgan and take a witness statement from him about the trip and an office diary found at Southern Investigations was found to contain the entry for 02 March 1987, 'Sgt to ring Daniel'.
It was stated that the fact that Daniel Morgan had been murdered the night before he was to have been interviewed by these police officers raised the obvious question as to whether the timings of the murder and of the visit were mere coincidence, or were connected. Therefore, the subject matter of the West Yorkshire officers’ visit and of the trip to Malta became a line of enquiry for the murder investigation.
Daniel Morgan had gone to Malta with another man that had been employed as a process-server at Southern Investigations and had worked regularly with Daniel Morgan for a year.
The process-server said that a man had gone out to Malta with the Range Rover but had been deported and upon his arrival back in the UK in July 1986 he was arrested. Daniel Morgan and the process server later flew out to Malta to repossess the Range Rover which had been in the possession of the man arrested and who, along with several other people, had been the subject of the major fraud investigation by West Yorkshire Police of which the Range Rover's removal to formed a minor part of the subsequent prosecution against rthe man, it being noted that the man and several other people were later convicted of serious fraud with the man that had taken the Range Rover to Malta being sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
The vsaid that when they came out to Malta that they had come into contact with a number of local people in their efforts to locate and repossess the Range Rover, and also had dealings with the Maltese Police and Maltese Customs.
They had been told that a lawyer in Malta would be able to help them locate the Range Rover but they could not find him and were later told by the finance company for which they were working that the man, who had a house on the adjacent Maltese island of Gozo, had been seen driving the vehicle there and so they went there. They were also told that a certain person had been storing the Range Rover in a barn on Gozo after locating the man they had to negotiate to obtain its release as storage charges were allegedly owed. It weas also noted that Customs duties were also payable to Maltese Customs before it could be exported from Malta and these matters, which amounted to some £2,000, were reffered to finance company in the UK for approval.
After getting approval, Daniel Morgan, the process-server and the man that had stored the acr went off to Customs offices in Valetta where Daniel Morgan paid the necessary charges for the car and the other man paid some money, not more than £100, to a Customs Officer.
However, it was noted that an unusual and unexplained aspect of the transaction was that at the same time the man handed the Customs Officer six passports, one of which was British and the others of different nationalities, none of them belonging to the man and that the Customs Officer stamped them all and then handed them back. It was stated that it was not known to whom they belonged, nor whether they had any relevance to the subsequent murder of Daniel Morgan.
Daniel Morgan was then authorised to remove the vehicle from Malta and the other man then gave the Customs Officer a further sum of money, the equivalent of about £20.
Daniel Morgan and the process-server then drove back to London, arriving at 3.30pm on 9 February 1987.
The process-server said that when they got back that Daniel Morgan telephoned West Yorkshire Police investigating the fraud ‘and told them about the Malta trip, the vehicle, the passports and corruption, the lot’.
Other witnesses provided evidence that, on his return to the UK, Daniel Morgan had remarked about the level of corruption he had witnessed in Malta, although little or no detail was provided. Daniel Morgan’s wife told police that after he returned he told her that, 'he couldn’t believe the amount of corruption over there and wouldn’t want to go back there again. I think he was shocked by the corruption and I don’t think he was threatened'.
A colleague of Daniel Morgan made a statement in which he said that when Daniel Morgan came back from Malta, 'he just kept on about how bent and corrupt the Maltese police, customs and people were. He mentioned a bloke, the man that had stored the car, who was a bit of a cool customer out there who had a thing going on out there and that no one could touch him, he didn’t say that he had been threatened or anything out there'.
When the connection between Daniel Morgan's murder and the trip to Malta was looked into it was determined that seven people associated with the fraud inquiry where:
It was also heard that the men had been of interest to detectives in Brighton.
A statement was taken from process-server regarding the trip to Malta on 24 March 1987 but the police stated, 'At this time there does not appear to be any evidence to suggest that Daniel Morgan’s murder is connected with this fraud enquiry'.
It was further noted that a number of people referred to Daniel Morgan having recieved threats linked to his trip to Malta. These references were:
The review noted that a person had made a statement saying that he had been informed of Daniel Morgan's murder by a mutual friend who had own several garages on Albion Place, South Norwood, a location which, he said, Daniel Morgan visited regularly. However, no efforts were made to contact or interview the mutual friend and in November 1987 the person was contacted but said that they had nothing to add to their statement. However, in 2006 the mutual friend was approached by police and interviewed on 13 November 2006. He said that he knew little of Daniel Morgan’s work other than that he was a private detective, but during the weekend Daniel Morgan told him that he had uncovered some damning evidence about some members of the Metropolitan Police. He had said that the information was so serious that he could not go to the Metropolitan Police about it and so had made contact with another police force. The mutual friend said that he could not remember which force had been named but said that ‘West Midlands’ came to mind, and he believed that arrangements had been made for Daniel Morgan to meet officers from that force the week that he was murdered. He noted that Daniel Morgan did not tell him what the evidence was.
It was later stated that the failure of the police to follow up the lead and trace the mutual friend was a missed opportunity.
It was noted that despite all the evidence received in March 1987, the Malta line of enquiry was not prioritised and that it was not until July 1987 that the police approached th epolice in Brighton.
It was noted that when Daniel Morgan's business partner was arrested on suspicion of Daniel Morgan’s murder on 3 April 1987 and interviewed under caution that towards the end of the interview when asked if he had any information that could be relevant to the murder he had said, 'the only thing that I’m not content with is Daniel’s connection with Malta and the process-server. I am willing to discuss this matter further informally'.
THe police also later recovered the Range Rover that Daniel Morgan had recovered from Malta and stripped it down to see if there were any hidden compartments that might be used to conceal drugs but none were found.
When the West Yorkshire Police were questioned, they said that Morgan’s visit to Malta in February 1987, the man tht had taken the Range Rover to Malta had, knowing that he was under investigation, fled the UK with about £500,000 in cash and a BMW car, as well as with the Range Rover. They said that he was subsequently deported from Malta and, on his return to the UK, he was arrested and charged by the West Yorkshire investigation.
They said that prior to the man's arrest, the West Yorkshire investigation carried out a series of coordinated searches at premises in Leeds and London, including at a solicitor’s offices on Oxford Street in London. One detective said that they had not told local Metropolitan Police officers of their intentions and were therefore surprised when, ten or fifteen minutes after they had commenced their search, two Metropolitan Police detectives turned up offering to assist. The detective said that he believed that the solicitor was corrupt and had telephoned contacts in the local Criminal Investigation Department (CID) when the West Yorkshire Police officers arrived.
He added that he believed at the time that, as well as being involved in the fraud, the man and his associates were also involved in drug-trafficking. He said that the intelligence the West Yorkshire investigation team had had was that cannabis was being brought out of North Africa by fast boat to Gozo in Malta, and from there smuggled by car ferry to Sicily and then through Europe to the UK.
The detective added that after he had seen the Crimewatch programme concerning Daniel Morgan’s murder, during which the two Mediterranean looking men who were allegedly seen looking into the Golden Lion public house on the night of the murder were mentioned, he telephoned the Morgan One Investigation to ensure that a connection was made between Malta, Gozo, drug-trafficking and the two men.
A number of investigative actions were undertaken to develop the Malta connection with each of the people involved in the West Yorkshire investigation being reasearched, however, none of them other than getting a statement from the insurance company were ever completed.
The man from Malta was never interviewed and it was not determined whether he had come to the UK after Daniel Morgan returned with the Range Rover.
The person described as a drug dealer was linked to the person that had connections with the Kray Brothers as well as a car dealership in North London.
Although the American man was determined to have had an FBI file on him, it was never retrieved.
The person that had stolen the Range Rover and taken it to Malta was determiend to have lived in North London and it was found that he had been bailed at 5.30pm on the day that Daniel Morgan was murdered. It was determiend that he should be interviewed but that never happened.
The person with the connections to the Kray Brothers was reported to be a man of violence, having a previous conviction for affray and for possessing a firearm when prohibited because of his criminal record. He was said to 'have senior police officers in his pocket' so much so that the West Yorshire Police didn't share any intelligence they had with the Metropolitan Police Criminal Intelligence Bureau.
One of the other people involved who was researched was Person Z10 who was described as being an associate of the man that had taken the Range Rover to Malta. It was also recorded that in 1976 a very similar name, differently spelled from that of Person Z10, had been charged with keeping a brothel, living off the earnings of prostitution andallowing premises to be used for gaming.
However, it was noted in the police review that the initial investigation failed to make the connection between Person Z10 and Person R16 who had been convicted of assaulting Daniel Mrgan in 1984. He had also been convicted of occasioning him actual bodily harm, and assaulting a police officer in the same incident which arose out of an incident in May 1983 when Daniel Morgan had been attempting to serve an eviction notice on him. Person R16 was given a conditional discharge. However, his criminal record showed that he was a violent man with previous convictions for demanding money with menaces and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, including by stabbing someone in the face with broken glass. The review noted that Person R16 could have been the father of Person Z10 or may have been otherwise related to him.
A witness who gave evidence of the threat allegedly made against Daniel Morgan, before he undertook the trip to Malta, also said that Daniel Morgan had been threatened with a knife two or three years earlier by a man sharing the same surname as Person R16 when he was attempting to serve some legal documents in East Dulwich. The witness said that, at the time, the incident 'really worried' Daniel Morgan.
However, Person R16 was not interviewed.
The review noted that 'The Morgan One Investigation should have identified the link between Person Z10 and a man who was possibly a close relative of his, Person R16, who had been convicted of assaulting Daniel Morgan and who was already the subject of enquiries in connection with the West Yorkshire fraud investigation. They should then have conducted further enquiries'.
An enquiry was made to the Operation Switzerland database which was held by the Brighton police. 14 names were given in the request for information but the request was not completed until 23 February 1988 at which point only 13 of the names were processed. It was noted that there is no explanation for the delay, nor for the fact that no information was provided about one of those about whom a query had been made.
Another lead stemming from the Malta affairrelated to a Croydon massage parlour/brothel. It was heard that Southern Investigations had been involved in surveying the massage parlour which was called Bodyscene, and was at the rear of Austin Motors, London Road in Croydon and that as a result of their investigations the company that owned the building had begun eviction proceedings and that Daniel Morgan and his business partner had been due to attend court on 24 March 1987 to give evidence.
It was heard that Daniel Morgan had posed as a customer whilst his business partner had kept observation outside on people entering and leaving.
It was also heard that there had been a fire at adjoining premises which was also under the control of the owners of Bodyscene which had led to an insurance claim. However, the owner had previous convictions and was of interest to Brighton police although it was not sure if it was in connection with Operation Switzerland or some other matter. The owner was also determined to have been an associate of he man with the connections to the Kray Brothers.
On 14 August 1987 the police recieved information that the owner of Bodyscene had been involved in Daniel Morgan’s murder. THe caller, who was never identified, but who described himself as 'ex-job', ie ex-policeman, said, 'Daniel Morgan was doing some job on his own, away from the firm Southern Investigations and was using a different name. He gained some information about the owner that cost the owner a lot of money. The owner was working with heavy people in Thornton Heath. They went to work Daniel Morgan over but they went too far'.
On 18 August 1987, it was reported that a former Metropolitan Police officer who was now then proprietor of premises adjacent to Bodyscene had told officers from the Morgan One Investigation that he understood that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at 'ZN' (believed to be Croydon CID) were investigating allegations that the owner had submitted forged receipts in connection with the insurance claim made in respect of the fire. He also said that he had spoken with the owner about the activities at Bodyscene and told him that if they did not cease, he would report the matter to the police. He alleged that the owner responded that that 'wouldn’t get him anywhere as he knows someone high up in the police who would help him'. however, there was no evidence that the police looked into that or into who the owner might have been reffering to as 'high-up' in the police that would have helped him.
On 21 October 1987, the detective superintendent took a statement from a representative of the insurance company that had insured the premises in London Road, Croydon. The proposal had been received from the owner's wife and the insurance company representative stated that at no time were there any dealings with her husband. Following the fire, the company had paid out a sum of £43,110 for the damage and an interim payment of £5,000 was agreed for business interruption. However, the latter sum was not paid because of a number of telephone calls and letters received by the official from a man calling himself P Westcott, and describing himself as an enquiry agent but giving no contact details. P Westcott had made reference to the owner’s criminal record and his criminal associates. The official said that P Westcott was clearly aware of the fire and of the fact that the first payout had been made, but was anxious that no further money be paid. The last call he had from him was the week before Daniel Morgan’s murder'.
A police officer, who was the local beat police officer for the Bodyscene area between June 1985 and September 1986, had first notified the owners of the building that a brothel was possibly operating from it. He made a statement to the Morgan One Investigation in October 1987 in which he said that he knew both Daniel Morgan and the owner's wife, and that Daniel Morgan knew the owner's wife and had been seen drinking with her in a wine bar near the brothel. Daniel Morgan had given the police officer his Southern Investigations business card, and when he did so claimed that he was a former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer from Surrey Police. He said that Daniel Morgan used to approach him 'on a semi-regular basis' in the street and either offer information or ask for checks to be carried out on individuals about whom information was held on the Police National Computer database. The officer knew the owner's wife because he had taken key holder details from her and saw her regularly at Bodyscene.
He was however challenged over his claim that Daniel Morgan had known the owner's wife and told that he must have been mistaken but he made a second statement in which he maintained that he knew both people and had seen them in the wine bar together.
On 25 November 1987, officers from the Morgan One Investigation spoke with the owner's wife, however, she declined to make a statement unless she could do so in the presence of her husband qand when the police spoke to her husband he said that he had been advised by his solicitor not to make a statement because of a forthcoming High Court action relating to the insurance claim in respect of Bodyscene. It was therefore not until 1 April 1988 that they were interviewed together, in the presence of their solicitor at their solicitor’s office. They were not cautioned but were asked questions about Bodyscene, the insurance claim for the fire, and the anonymous allegation made to the Police Constable from Surrey Police. They denied having dealings with Daniel Morgan, his business partner or Southern Investigations. They also denied any knowledge of the murder and denied knowing who had made telephone calls alleging that they should not be paid insurance moneys in respect of the fire at their premises or who had said that they had been involved in the murder of Daniel Morgan.
At the beginning of March 1988, a detective met a prostitute who told him that she had previously worked at Bodyscene who said that she had been controlled by the owner and a woman there. Later that day she telephoned the incident room and said that another woman, who also worked as a prostitute at Bodyscene, had just told her that ‘if anyone was responsible for Daniel Morgan’s death it would probably concern a man who was concerned with the woman who ran Bodyscene in the importation of drugs into the country’.
However, although the dertective soon after went to Brighton to seek information about the woman, returning with an intelligence report on her, it being noted that the Brighton police also had an interest in her, there was no audit trail indicating what prompted it nor any evidence that any other enquiries were made to identify the man she was said to have been concerned with.
THe police review panel also tried to access the West Yorkshire HOLMES database but found that all that remained was on magnetic reel-to-reel tape that they could not access. They also had a similar expereince with the Operation Switzerland database which could not be traced.
The police review concluded that, 'The line of enquiry arising out of the trip to Malta was clearly a very important one and a link to possible drug smuggling would have provided a credible motive for Daniel Morgan’s killing. Given the fact that it involved an organised crime group with links to suspected police corruption, that another police force and a regional crime squad were already carrying out major investigations into the organised crime group, that Daniel Morgan was a witness in one of those investigations, that he was reportedly linked indirectly to several of the suspects in those investigations and that there was also an international aspect to the matter, it demanded a sustained and coordinated approach. Instead, it was dealt with in an incoherent and piecemeal way which did not reflect the possible significance of the issues under investigation'
It also stated, 'Some potential lines of inquiry were not dealt with at all, others were not completed, without explanation or apparent reason being recorded, or were only partially completed and there was inexplicable delay and a lack of consistency and strategy in dealing with the issue as a whole. The inevitable outcome is that the matter remains unresolved and the circumstances surrounding the Malta trip can neither be ruled in nor ruled out as a factor in Daniel Morgan’s murder. This was another serious failing of the Morgan One Investigation'.
Police Corruption Disclosure
Another line of enquiry was information that Daniel Morgan was going to reveal details of police corruption to the newspapers.
It was heard that Daniel Morgan had previously dealt with the Daily Mirror quite a lot but had previoulsy had a row with the contact there split. On 12 March 1987 a journalist at the Daily Mirror said that Daniel Morgan used to deal with the press a great deal through a man there but that they had had an acrimonious spli and that Daniel Morgan had tried to get the Daily Mirror to 'do a dirty' on him and that the man had always swore revenge.
On 21 May 1987 an employee of Southern Investigations said that the man from the Daily Mirror had told him the previous day, 'he had received information from a local police officer that there were Police officers engaged in illegal activities. Daniel Morgan also had the same information and related to him illegal police activities and he was going to the Sunday newspapers with the knowledge and was to obtain a substantial sum of money from the newspaper'. He noted that he also told the office manager about it the same day.
When the man from the Daily Mirror was interviewed on 22 May 1987, he said that, before Christmas 1986, Daniel Morgan had told him that, 'he was going to 'hit the jackpot'', and that 'he had been in contact with a Sunday Newspaper who had offered him a sum in the region of £250,000 for an expose on his business client relationship with regard to how he obtained his information. He didn’t elaborate on this but I drew the inference and I don't think unnaturally that he meant his dealings with Police Officers’. He did not make any reference to learning this information from police officers, he said that no names were mentioned by Daniel Morgan, and that although the facts were correct, 'the whole episode is not that clear in my mind'. In a subsequent message to a detective on 9 June 1987, the man said that Daniel Morgan had sold stories to various papers, 'the content of which would be any 'Tasty' affidavit that he was working on'.
On 28 May 1987, a detective met the journaist and recorded that she had said that although she had never met Daniel Morgan, another journalist with the Daily Mirror newspaper had been contacted by Daniel Morgan around August 1986, and said that he had information which he would supply to the newspaper for payment. However, she said that the newspaper had stated that it had no interest in the information and that it was decided that no further action should be taken in relation to the matter.
However, the police investigation looked into the claim that Daniel Morgan had been attempting to sell a stopry on police corruption for £250,000 and determined that there was no trace whatsoever of anything to support the claim. THey spoke to a reporter wuith the Daily Star and a reporter from the Sunday People who made their own enquiries but found no indication that Daniel Morgan had been trying to sell a story or that anyone had offered him anything like a £250,000 payout.
However, the review later critised the small scope of the enquiry, stating, 'Neither of the journalists contacted by the press officer fitted the description given by the man at the Daily Mirror, as neither of them were working for a Sunday newspaper at the time of the murder. There was a relatively small number of Sunday newspapers operating at the time. The Morgan One Investigation should have contacted the editors of the Sunday newspapers directly, obtaining contact details from press officers, to see whether any of the editors were able to help and clarify if Daniel Morgan had approached journalists working on their newspaper'.
However, it was noted that on 6 August 1987, a detective, a member of the Morgan One Investigation, was returned to other duties and that as he was leaving, he put a message into the Morgan One Investigation reporting that information had been received some months previously from a retired Detective Constable who worked with Southern Investigations that Daniel Morgan had been preparing an expose of police corruption for which he had been offered £250,000, and had been in contact with an 'investigative journalist from a Fleet Street 'Sunday''. The detective notd that the information had not been acted upon, and that given 'the connections between a man and Daniel Morgan's business partner, the suicide of Taffy Holmes and the present investigation with another man, that it might be worth meeting the retired Detective Constable who worked with Southern Investigations.
However, when the retired Detective Constable who worked with Southern Investigations was questioned on 14 December 1987 he said, 'I have been asked about my knowledge concerning Danny MORGAN approaching the press concerning police corruption. I have no knowledge of this whatsoever'.
When the detective that made the allegation about what had been said was asked why the retired detective would later deny the claim, he suggested that he had been threatened as there were a lot of 'tasty' people involved.
When the reporter that Daniel Morgan had previously worked with at the Daily Mirror was questioned on 11 November 1987 he said, 'I am sure he did not say to me that this related to information he obtained from police officers, although I assumed this is what he meant' and doubted that the sum of money that Daniel Morgan had been offered by the press was £250,000, as 'Daniel was always bragging'.
On 29 January 1988, the Deputy Editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper was interviewed and provided a witness statement, stating that Daniel Morgan's business partner around two years earlier and had bought some stories from him which were tittle-tattle, and paying him about £50 'to keep him 'sweet''. He added that Daniel Morgan's business partner had tried to sell him a story about the associate's as 'minder to the stars' for £10,000 and arranged a meeting but he meeting was cancelled and the Daily Star subsequently ran the story. He also said that whilst he didn't know Daniel Morgan well, he had spoken to him on the phone once as he was trying to get through to his business partner and said that Daniel Morgan 'ranted and raved about his business partner stitching him up over various things'.
On 08 February 1988 reporter with the Daily Mirror newspaper said:
ASs such, the police concluded that there was no evidence to indicate that Daniel Morgan had been trying to sell a story on police corruption for £250,000 and that hte matter had been 'fully investigated'.
The Death of Alan Holmes
The death of Alan Holmes on 28 July 1987 was speculated to have been connected with the murder of Daniel Morgan. Alan Holmes had been a detective constable having joined the Metropolitan Police in 1961 and serving until his death.
An inquest was held, and the Coroner ruled on 14 March 1988 that his death was caused by suicide
At the time of his death, DC Holmes had been a member of the Metropolitan Police Special Operations Task Force and was also a Freemason and the Master of his local Lodge.
His suicide followed allegations of police corruption that began in April 1987. It was heard that a detective had passed on to a Detective Chief Superintendent some information, received from a person whom he had interviewed in the course of his work, alleging corruption on the part of a police Commander and an investigation was carried out. It was heard that when Alan Holmes heard of the investigation he contacted the detective involved and asked to listen to the interview tapes in which the allegations of corruption were made on behalf of the police commander and that as a reult he too became the subject of investigation and was interviewed on 19 and 23 July 1987. Concerns were subsequently raised about whether he had been questioned in an oppressive manner during these interviews, which had been lengthy, and whether that had contributed to his death on 28 July 1987.
Given that his death was alleged to have been related to the death of Daniel Morgan, the police review looked into the papers but were unable to find any evidence to indicate any connection between Daniel Morgan and Alan Holmes, and nothing to indicate any connection between their deaths.
However, it was later noted that a detective had reported that he had been in the Victory public house on 11 March 1988 and heard Daniel Morgan's business partner say that Daniel Morgan had been friendly with Alan Holmes and had met him in a pub in Beulah Hill some days before his death.
On 17 May 1988 Daniel Morgan's brother said that he had met a man that had done some driving for Daniel Morgan's business partner as he had been banned at the time and that the man had told him that Daniel Morgan and Alan Holmes had been good friends.
Later in 1988 Daniel Morgan's business partner made a complaint to the police stating that before his death, Daniel Morgan had met Alan Holmes and had told his wife and others that he was going to sell information on police corruption to the media for £10,000, and that that had not been investigated.
The police review concluded that there was nothing to suggest that the claims by Daniel Morgan's brother or his business partner had been looked into, concluding that it was a failure of the Morgan One investigation.
It was later heard in the Police Complaints Authority Investigation that the friendship between Daniel Morgan and Alan Holmes had started in September 1985 and that when ringing up would identify himself as OMO and that they had once met in Gossips Wine Bar in 1986 and when the bill came around Daniel Morgan had written on it 'Holmes will pay next time'. It was also claimed that Alan Holmes had intended to propose Daniel Morgan as a member of the Freemasons and that Daniel Morgan had told Jonathan Rees that there were lots of police officers and business people in the Croydon Freemasons Lodge, and that that offered the potential for Southern Investigations to obtain lots of business.
On 2 February 1989 a detective said that Daniel Morgan's business partner had told him that some detectives had entered into the investigation information that Alan Holmes, the police commander and the Brinksmat job were all connected with the murder of Daniel Morgan in that Daniel Morgan had gone to Private Eye and another newspaper with the story and wwas hoping to get £10,000 for it. Two other witnesses also provided information to the Hampshire/Police Complaints Authority Investigation stating that Daniel Morgan's business partner had told them that Daniel Morgan had discovered that there was a connection between a senior Metropolitan Police officer and the Brink’s-Mat robbery naming the officer as the police commander.
However, the review concluded by stating, 'There is no evidence in the papers available that the information described had been inserted into or removed from the Morgan One investigation. There is no mention of Private Eye before Daniel Morgan's business partner raised it on 2 February 1989. The evidence from a number of sources shows that the question of whether the murder of Daniel Morgan and the death by suicide of DC Alan Holmes were linked was examined by both detective superintendents during the Morgan One Investigation, and that no link was established. There was no reference to Daniel Morgan in the police Commander’s investigation. The removal of the two detectives from the Morgan One Investigation was recorded as being due to a reduction in the number of investigative actions at that stage of the investigation. That reduction in investigative activity can be observed from the papers available'.
Further, in the Abelard One/Morgan Two Investigation, on 7 March 2003, the Senior Investigating Officer reported to the Crown Prosecution Service that: 'There is nothing to link the death of DC Holmes, the activities of the ex-Commander, or the Brinksmat robbery to the Morgan murder'.
On 9 April a former Police Officer said that he believed that Daniel Morgan was going to 'grass up a police officer about a coke deal', although he could not be more precise.
However, on 15 April 2003 the ex-detective that had details some of the earlier claims stated the folliowing:
Nine years later in June 2016, the ex-detectiveadded the following:
However, the police review questioned why the ex-detective had not disclosed that information in 1987 and had waited until 2003 to disclose it. The police then determined to establish whether anyone else could verify that there had been a relationship between Daniel Morgan and Alan Holmes and determined that both Alan Holmes’s widow said that her husband had not known Daniel Morgan and that Daniel Morgan's widow said that she did not know whether her husband had met Alan Holmes. She added that her husband had never mentioned knowledge of police corruption to her, nor had he said that he had any intention of selling such information to the press.
However, in 2017 the man that had gone to Malta with Daniel Morgan came forward to say that in the two-year period prior to his death, Daniel Morgan had spoken frequently of his dealings with DC Holmes, and that in early 1987, he had been present at two meetings between Daniel Morgan and DC Holmes. It was noted that the man had also written a (then yet to be published) book concerning his knowledge of Southern Investigations and the circumstances surrounding Daniel Morgan’s murder. His account of the alleged dealings between Daniel Morgan and Alan Holmes was as follows:
When he described the two occasions on which he met Alan Holmes, he said:
However, it was noted that the man that had gone to Malta with Daniel Mortgan had made ten witness statements over the years and had never before mentioned Alan Alan Holmes at all in any of them.
THe police review concluded the accounts of the ex-detecite and the man that had gone to Malta with Daniel Morgan were not credible. It stated:
The review concluded by stating, 'Having considered all the evidence available, the Panel is not persuaded that the evidence provided by ex-detective and the man that had gone to Malta that Daniel Morgan was working with DC Alan Holmes to reveal police corruption is credible'.
Bookkeeper to Southern Investigations
Another line of enquiry in the investigation was the claim that a bookkeeper that had worked at Southern Investigations had said that Daniel Morgan's business partner had wanted Daniel Morgan killed.
The bookkeeper had been employed by Southern Investigations until January 1987 when he was charged with with serious fraud offences that were unrelated to his position at Southern Investigations. However, when a new accountant joine Southern Investigations he found that there was an outstanding tax liability of £23,400, plus penalties which he informed Daniel Morgan's business partner about on 6 March 1987.
The bookkeeper was later interviewed by the murder squad on 2 April 1987 at which time he told the police that there were no financial problems with the business, but that was later found to be untrue.
Later, in July 1987, a retired Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector stated that the bookkeeper had told him that Daniel Morgan's business partner had asked him to find someone to murder Daniel Morgan.
THe police then arranged for the retired Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector to meet the bookkeeper again whilst wearing a tape recorder to see if he could get him to repeat the allegation, noting that they thought that he would deny it if he was approached directly. The ploy was successful and a recording of the allegations was made. When the bookkeeper was brought in for interview on 21 August 1987 he denied the allegation. However, when he was played a section of the recording he agreed that the information was correct but said that he had given it in confidence. and declined to make a statement.
However, he made two statements in September 1987. He added that he had told the retired Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector before about it but the retired Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector said that he had no recollection of hearing the allegation previously.
He then went on to say that Daniel Morgan was very different to his business partner and that on occasions he had seen Daniel Morgan's business partner lose his temper with Daniel Morgan and go into an absolute rage and shout at Daniel Morgan about things which he hadn’t done that should have attended to. He said that Daniel Morgan's business partner would go on at Daniel Morgan like that for a quarter of an hour or more, shouting and abusing him.
In his statements he made the following allegations:
When the police looked into the claims that the Catford Crime Squad had been used to cover up the murder leads or information coming in they found no evidence to support that other than the actions of the detective sergeant. It was determined that the Catford Crime Squad been assisting in another murder investigation in early March but that role ended on 9 March 1987 leaving them free to assist at the next serious crime to be committed in the Catford Crime Squad area which just happened to be the murder of Daniel Morgan.
It was noted that the Golden Lion public house was in the Catford Crime Squad area, which meant that Catford Crime Squad would probably, but not definitely, be called upon to assist in the event of any serious crime occurring at that location. Had the murder of Daniel Morgan been committed elsewhere, or on a different date, the Catford Crime Squad might not have been involved in the investigation. Had another murder been committed in that area before Daniel Morgan’s murder, the Catford Crime Squad may not have been available to work on Daniel Morgan’s murder.
However, the review found that it was not possible to reach any conclusion on the information available as to whether the murder was committed when and where it was to facilitate the involvement of Catford Crime Squad in the early days of the investigation.
The police later determined to get corroboration of the bookkeepers and arranged for him to be fitted with a covert tape recorder and to meet up with Daniel Morgan's business partner on 26 November 1987. However, Daniel Morgan's business partner didn't make any incriminating statements about Daniel Morgan’s murder. A second attempt was made on 2 December 1987 which similarly failed although it was both said that Daniel Morgan's business partner showed significant interest in the case and that the bookkeeper felt that Daniel Morgan's business partner might have realised he was wearing a tape recorder. It was further noted that Daniel Morgan's business partner soon after the meeting told a former detective that he had just met someone who 'he believed was 'taped up''.
It was noted that the bookkeeper had been reluctant to give evidence to the police and that it was only after he had been confronted by the recording of his allegations that he had agreed to help. The police described his evidence as 'probably the most alarming aspect of the whole case'.
He appeared at the Central Criminal Court in London on 13 June 1988, where he pleaded guilty to various fraud and theft charges although it was noted that he had understood that if the judge hearing the case against him was informed that he had assisted the Morgan One Investigation, then it was possible that his sentence might be reduced. The Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police wrote to the trial judge recounting the bookkeeper’s assistance to the Morgan One Investigation, by way of written statements, and evidence on 11 April 1988 to the Inquest into the death of Daniel Morgan and he was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years on each indictment, the sentences to run concurrently. However, it was not possible to comment on what impact, if any, the letter from the police to the judge in the case made to the sentence imposed on the bookkeeper.
However, the police review concluded that the bookkeeper's evidence should have formed a major line of enquiry for the Morgan One Investigation, noting that that didn't happen and added that greater attempts should have been made to corroborate his evidence.
Drug Supply Case
THe murder investigation squad recieved four messages an individual who was on bail for credit card offences Daniel Morgan had been engaged by a man from a named company to identify a drug dealer who was supplying drugs to his daughter. He said that Daniel Morgan initially approached a known dealer at the Golden Lion public house to see if he would supply drugs. The dealer was not able to supply the quantity for which Daniel Morgan asked, and in turn, referred the request to two other known drug dealers.
He said that later, on an unknown evening, all three drug dealers, one of whom was being investigated by the detective sergeant, and a bodyguard had been in the Golden Lion public house with Daniel Morgan and that on the night of the murder that one of the three drug dealers had also been in the Golden Lion.
When the police made enquiries they had been unable to find the client although they found a man that matched the description given and who had a duaghrer with the name provided, they were determined to have had no connection with Daniel Morgan. THe three drug dealers were later identified, as was the bodyguard. The bodyguard was interviewed while in custody for an unrelated matter with no useful information being gained whilst the drug dealers were not interviewed. THe police also concluded that the person that had supplied them with the information on the drug supply lead was a drug addict himself and unreliable and no further enquiries were carried out. However, the review later concluded that the matter should have been further investigated by the Morgan One Investigation, which could have interviewed those who had been identified, noting that no explanation has been found as to why there was no further investigation. THe police review noted that the fact that the individual who provided the information was a drug addict and might have been unreliable, did not necessarily mean that the witness was not telling the truth.
Daniel Morgan’s alleged relationships
It was alleged that Daniel Morgan had been engaged in a number of extramarital affairs and that was looked into as a line of inquiry. to see if he had been murdered by a jealous or angry partner or spouse.
On 11 March 1987, the day after the murder, information was received which referred to Daniel Morgan’s alleged extramarital affairs from two separate sources, Daniel Morgan's business partnerand the man he went to Malta with.
Daniel Morgan's business partner said, 'Daniel has often confided in me regarding a number of extra-marital sexual relationships. Several times I have been aware that when Daniel has an injunction to serve on an estranged husband, he would make efforts to contact, and discuss the matter with the wife. I believe that this has sometimes led to a sexual relationship. I have been asked if I can name any such women, I can remember four such cases'.
Daniel Morgan's business partner supplied four names, although the first name of one of the women was wrong and slowed down the investigation. However, he didn't mention the estate agent manager.
However, when the police followed each of the women up they found that there was no evidence of anything to link them to Daniel Morgan’s murder. The women’s partners were also investigated, and recorded as eliminated from the enquiries.
The man that Daniel Morgan had gone to Malta with said that Daniel Morgan had told him around mid 1985 that he had been seeing a woman and that the woman’s husband had found out about them and had phoned Daniel Morgan at home and threatened to kill him. He said that Daniel Morgan pointed out the woman's house to him. The man further stated that, although Daniel Morgan did not tell him the name of the person, Daniel Morgan had said to him that if he was ever attacked and hospitalised, then he was to visit him, and that Daniel Morgan would tell him who and where the person was.
It was noted that the police tried to find that house that Daniel Morgan was said to have pointed out to his colleague as being where the woman had lived but could not.
Stolen Car Stereo
THe man that had gone to Malta with Daniel Morgan said on 11 March 1987 that Daniel Morgan had told him that his car had been broken into the previous Christmas and the car stereo had been stolen but that the stereo was been found in the possession of a number of youths, who were then charged. He said that after they were charged Daniel Morgan told him that he had received threats at home which he believed to have come from the youths.
When the men were traced they said that they had been laying flooring at a shop in South Norwood during the evening of 10 March 1987. However, when the owner of the shop was questioned he said that they had come to his shop to lay lino at about 7pmand that apart from an hour-and-a-half period sometime between 8.00pm and 10.00pm, when they left to let some cement dry, they were there until 3.00am the following morning. Their homes were searched but nothing was found and no further action was taken.
However, the police review of the case stated that as the shopkeeper had been unable to say that the suspects were at his premises during the crucial period when Daniel Morgan was murdered, despite making extensive efforts, the Morgan One Investigation would have been unable to eliminate them from the investigation in accordance with required procedure.
On 11 March 1987 it was heard that Daniel Morgan had served a writ the previous day and the person that he had served it to said that Daniel Morgan told him that another bailiff, who he named, had threatened to kill him after he had poached an employee. When the police took a statement from the rival investigator he dismissed the suggestion of any antagonism between him and Daniel Morgan and stated that their work was completely different. However, it was noted that he was not asked to account for his movements on the evening of 10 March 1987.
It was further determined that on 17 March 1987 Daniel Morgan's wife made a statement saying, 'I had a telephone call from the same bailiff one day, it was about two years ago. I know there was dispute over what the bailiff was charging for certain jobs and the fees that were laid down. The bailiff said to me on the phone that, 'he'll break Daniel's legs''.
Seven months later, a witness gave a statement which referred to the bailiff and said that he had lost money because Daniel Morgan had given assistance to the Certificated Bailiffs Association in an action against the bailiff.
The police review concluded that the bailiff was not eliminated from the Morgan One Investigation and that he should have been asked to account for his movements on 10 March 1987 to determine whether he could be eliminated.
Matrimonial and Family Related Investigations
Cases that Daniel Morgan had worked on that involved matrimonial and family disputes were looked into, it being noted that some of the cases rned estranged partners and included 'snatch backs' of children taken by separated partners. However, although not fully completed, it was concluded that there was nothing to link them to the murder of Daniel Morgan.
THe police determined that Daniel Morgan had served a summons on a man the day before his murder, 9 March 1987 and that the man had previous convictions for violent offences. When th epolice went to see the man he said that during the evening of 10 March 1987, he would have been doing the laundry and preparing dinner. His home was searched and nothing was found, but it was noted that there was no evidence that another male who lived at the house was questioned to verify this alibi and th review concluded that the police should have sought to verify the alibi given by the man.
It was known that Daniel Morgan had been involved with recovery, fraud investigations, and the service of bankruptcy orders, as part of his bailiff business and that in the course of that business that he might have angered a number of individuals and four serious cases were looked into.
Southern Investigations and Daniel Morgan had been contracted by finance companies to repossess motor vehicles purchased on finance when purchasers defaulted on payments and it was thought that his murder might have been connected with that.
One company, Eltham, had instructed Daniel Morgan to repossess 18 vehicles and the police made enquiries with them but found that there were no reports of any trouble having occurred with any repossession or attempted repossession. It was found that some vehicles had been repossessed, but in some instances neither the vehicle nor the purchaser could be found. There were no more developments from that line of enquiry.
Other Lines of Enquiry
There were a significant number of other lines of enquiry but the review opted not to list them all, but detailed some to demonstrate the range of other leads.
Conduct of Police Officers
The police reivew considered the conduct of the police officers during the investigation following the ellegations of corruption.
They interviewed 43 police officers that had served on Catford Police Division regarding meetings they had had with Daniel Morgan's business partner or Daniel Morgan himself. They found that 17 officers had met Daniel Morgan's business partner with the remaining 26 officers saying they had never met Daniel Morgan's business partner. None of them said that they had met Daniel Morgan.
However, one detective in particular who was based in the Norbury Division said that he knew both Daniel Morgan and his business partner, saying that he had met Daniel Morgan's business partner through his solicitor and then Daniel Morgan about 18 month's earlier. He said that Daniel Morgan and he had met socially on many occasions, mostly in the Victory public house in Thornton Heath, when Daniel Morgan would join his business partner and him. It was noted that the detective had been one of the original officers who investigated the robbery of Daniel Morgan's business partner which occurred in 1986 and which led to the Belmont Car Auctions issue.
When the detective was interviewed he had been the night duty Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer on 18 March 1986, when Daniel Morgan's business partner was allegedly robbed of £18,280.62 on his way home from Belmont Car Auctions, and had conducted some of the early investigation into the robbery. He recorded in June 1987 that he felt that 'either Daniel Morgan's business partner was involved or he had been set up by someone knowing his movements'. Despite this view, he repeatedly met Daniel Morgan's business partner on a social basis between the Belmont Car Auctions robbery in March 1986 and the murder of Daniel Morgan in March 1987. A relationship that continued after the murder.
He said that when he met Daniel Morgan's business partner on 21 May 1987 'He told me that he had been arrested and held for thirty hours. He was unhappy at his treatment. He intimated that he would not co-operate with the enquiry any more, and at one stage he stated that he didn’t give a fuck who killed Daniel Morgan. There were things that he could tell the investigation that would point the team in a direction other than in his direction, but he was not going to co-operate'.
On 5 June 1987 the detective superintendent informed the Norbury detective that he was not to meet Daniel Morgan's business partner at any time, however, he continued to do so and the detective superintendent decided to allow him to do so in order that he could get information from him. At the Inquest into Daniel Morgan’s death, the Norbury detective’s role was described by the Coroner as that of a 'double agent'.
However, whilst there was a lot of information on his activities, the meetings achieved nothing more than giving Daniel Morgan's business partner the opportunity to ask how the investigation was going each time they met and of no value to the investigation. Further, the Norbury detective was later convicted on separate matters and sentenced to over eight years in prison for offences including theft, robbery, conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and perverting the course of justice.
It was also determined that a number of detectives would would visit public houses known to be frequented by Daniel Morgan's business partner and the detective sergeant, both of whom had been arrested for the murder and continued to be suspects, and would spend time with one or both of them on a seemingly social basis and that the close association between police officers and one of the main suspects posed serious risks to the investigation, noting that intelligence from the meetings was not thought to have been processed propely and that the presence of alcohol risked the possibility of detectives leaking information.
Second Arrest of Daniel Morgan's business partner
Daniel Morgan's business partner was arrested a second time on 3 March 1988. He had previously been released without charge on 4 April 1987.
Upon his second arrest he was asked to bring his car in and Scenes of Crime officer attend at his office and on 10 March 1988, fibre samples were collected from the seats, front and rear floor mats and boot mat and a number of tapings and control samples were retrieved from the car and submitted for comparison with the fibres found on the axe, but no matching fibres were found.
The review noted that Daniel Morgan's business partner’s car had not been fully forensically examined before this point, a year after the murder, the consequence of that failure being that, even if evidence had been found which linked the car to the murder of Daniel Morgan, there would have been scope for arguments that there was no continuity to any such evidence secured, and that there was a possibility of contamination of such evidence in the year between the date of the murder and the search of the car.
Detective Superintendent's Report
The detective superintendent made a report on 22 January 1988 that drew together all his lines of enquiry and concluded that he had identified motive and unanswered questions but not evidence. He said that the case of Daniel Morgan’s murder revolved around who had known that Daniel Morgan would have been at the Golden Lion public house on 10 March 1987, that the manner of his death indicated a personal hatred held by his attacker and that the murder was premeditated. His conclusion was that Daniel Morgan's business partner was complicit in the murder of Daniel Morgan and that he considered it possible that Daniel Morgan's business partner was concerned that Daniel Morgan would dissolve their business partnership, thought it apparent that Daniel Morgan's business partner’s dislike for Daniel Morgan had turned to hatred, and suggested this could have been further fuelled by the association both men had with the easte agent manager. the detective superintendent also raised concerns over Daniel Morgan's business partner’s 'over-riding loyalty' to police officers, especially those connected to Belmont Car Auctions, and referred to evidence that Daniel Morgan had threatened to expose police corruption'.
He added that the matters offered 'strong motives for murder' and that 'not one piece of evidence was found that would lead the investigation team away from Daniel Morgan's business partner as the prime suspect'.
However, the detective superintendent noted that it was possible that he too was too close to Daniel Morgan's business partner and noted that he had considered bringing charges against but felt that he needed advice and approached the Crown Prosecution Service. When he referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service, he said, 'I must confess that I have seriously considered charging Daniel Morgan's business partner, but it may well be that I am too personally involved for a number of obvious reasons in my attitude towards him. I would welcome Solicitors Department comments on whether or not these papers should be considered by the Crown Prosecution Service'.
However, it was determined to wait for the inquest before making a decision.
Key dates relating to the inquest are:
The axe was considered at the inquest, it being noted that it's handle had been taped with adhesive plasters, and the Coroner gave two possible reasons for that:
It was noted that no fingerprints had been found on the axe but that the Coroner had not raise the possibility of DNA testing on the axe handle although the police report noted that DNA testing at that time had been very limited and in its early stages or application.
When the detective superintendent details his theory in the case to the inquest, he said that he thought that the murder was premeditated, that it was linked to the presence of Daniel Morgan in the Golden Lion public house on 9 March 1987, and that identification of those involved hinged upon who knew that Daniel Morgan would be in the premises on the evening of 10 March 1987.
It was claimed that Daniel Morgan's business partner had taken out a £1,000 contract with his CID contacts to murder Daniel Morgan.
An accountant said that he knew that Daniel Morgan's business partner had been planning the murder. He said, 'He told me he wanted to become partners with the detective sergeant at Catford in South London, who planned to leave the police on a medical pension once Morgan was dead'. He said that Daniel Morgan's business partner had been trying to get other officers from nearby Norbury police station to arrest Daniel Morgan was astounded. But he told me they would either commit the murder themselves, or get someonee else in return for dropping criminal charges against them'.
The accountant said that they planned for the murder to be committed in Catford because their police officers would be involved in the murder investigation and would be able to suppress evidence.
When the accountant was questioned by the Coroner he added that he had heard Daniel Morgan's business partner confirm his intention to kill Daniel Morgan on 'six or so' separate occasions, adding that he had pleaded with him to reconsider his course of action. He said that he had formed the opinion that Daniel Morgan's business partner was determined to either kill Daniel Morgan or have him killed. He said, 'Daniel Morgan's business partner had decided at this stage that he could no longer work with Daniel in the partnership. He had in his own mind found a replacement for Daniel. It was his objective to get rid of Daniel in order to replace him with this new prospective partner who would be, in his opinion, a much greater asset to the business', noting that he had the detective sergeant in mind.
The inquest also heard that the detective sergeant had in fact become a partner in Southern Investigations following Daniel Morgan's murder. It was also heard that before the murder that he had been one of three policemen that had been helping Daniel Morgan's business partner guard a car auction firm.
Further evidence regarding the Belmont Car Auctions robbery and the theft ofthe £18,000 was also heard with Daniel Morgan's wife saying that two other senior staff in the company had told her that they thought that the business partner had set the robbery up himself.
The inquest heard that there were a number of possibilities for his murder:
In February 1989 Daniel Morgan's business partner and the business associate that had been planning to loan the company the money for their court case were arrested and tried for Daniel Morgan's murder, however, they were later acquitted, with the police admitting that the charge against the business associate had been brought without reasonable and probable cause.
It was also later heard that the woman that Daniel Morgan had been seeing had also been seeing Daniel Morgan's business partner although she had added that it had not caused jealousy. She had been the manager of an estate agents that had been opposite the offices of Southern Investigations in Croydon.
It was reported that in 1990 Daniel Morgan's busines partner and the detective sergeant started to work regularly with tabloid newspapers such as the News of the World.
Allegations that the detective superintendent that headed the case from the start had been drunk on the night he attended Daniel Morgan's murder scene were also made at the inquest. It was further claimed that whilst there he had demanded a bottle of whisky from the bar. Howevr, the allegations were concluded as having been unfounded.
It was noted that the Coroner would be assisted by the police in carrying out the inquest, with a police officer fulfilling to role of Coroner’s Officer and that in general the Coroner would be reliant on the Senior Investigating Officer in charge of a police investigation to be briefed on matters relating to the police investigation. However, when it became apparent that there was suspicion of police involvement in the murder or police obstruction in the murder investigation, it made the inquest difficult and a citisism of the inquest was that the Coroner concluded that there had was no evidence of police corruption even though it was later stated that there clearly was.
The Coroner said that the police had 'steadfastly kept up a constant investigation' and that they had produced 'stacks and stacks of statements' with 'No stone has been left unturned'. However, the police review noted that whilst the the Coroner clearly noted that a lot of work had been undertaken by the police, his statement that 'no stone had been left unturned' was not an accurate characterisation of the Morgan One Investigation.
The Coroner also said, 'I have to say here and now that there has been no evidence whatsoever in this inquest to point to any police involvement in this killing, nothing that we have heard during this inquest'. However, the police review stated, 'The Coroner's remarks that there was 'no evidence whatsoever to point to any police involvement in this killing' was not accurate and overstated the evidential position. The accountant confirmed in his testimony at the Inquest what he had said in his statements to the police, he alleged that Daniel Morgan's business partner had told him that his 'mates at Catford' would help him to kill Daniel Morgan. This was hearsay evidence pointing to police involvement. It was not corroborated by other evidence at the Inquest. The Coroner's remarks were later repeated by the Metropolitan Police and others to support the position that there was no police involvement in the murder'.
There were a number of reviews into the claims of police corruption and the failure to investigate the murder roperly.
Hampshire/Police Complaints Authority Investigation - July 1988 to March 1990.
The first review was carried oiut under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authorityand was appointed to look into allegations that Metropolitan Police officers had been involved in Daniel Morgan's murder. However, the review concluded that there was 'no evidence of involvement by any police officer in the murder' and no evidence to support the claims of the accountant who said he had been aware of a plot to murder. The review also stated that there was 'no evidence to suggest any member of the murder investigation team took deliberate action to prevent the murder being properly detected' and no grounds for disciplinary action against any officer that had been found moonlighting for Southern Investigations other than strict admonishment.
see Court News UK
see Stewart Tendler Crime Reporter. "Policemen quizzed on death of detective." Times [London, England] 4 Apr. 1987: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 Aug. 2012.
see You Tube
see Daily Mirror - Thursday 12 March 1987
see Daily Mirror - Tuesday 12 April 1988