Police apology for corruption as murder trial collapses
Published 12/03/2011 | 05:00
A CASE involving the murder of a private detective, found with an axe in his head, collapsed yesterday.
The devastated family of Daniel Morgan yesterday received apologies from police and lawyers as three men were cleared of his murder.
The case has been the subject of five police inquiries and other investigations believed to have cost at least £30m (€34.7m).
Last night Scotland Yard admitted that the first inquiry into the 1987 killing had been hampered by police corruption.
Mr Morgan's family said they were let down by the system and demanded a judicial review be set up.
The outcome came on the 24th anniversary of Mr Morgan's death in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south London.
Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said after the case: "This current investigation has identified, ever more clearly, how the initial inquiry failed the family and wider public.
"It is quite apparent that police corruption was adebilitating factor in that investigation. This was wholly unacceptable."
Mr Morgan's brother Alastair (62) said: "It was obvious my brother was going to blow the lid off the links between the police and criminals.
"We have been failed utterly by all the institutions designed to protect us."
Nicholas Hilliard, prosecuting, apologised to the family in court and said the disclosure process had been so complex that the prosecution could not be sure the defence would have all the material it should have.
The three defendants, Mr Morgan's former business partner Jonathan Rees (54) and his brothers-in-law Garry Vian (50) and Glenn Vian (52) were released from the Old Bailey after the trial.
Two other defendants, James Cook accused of murder and former Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery, charged with perverting justice, were discharged after supergrass witnesses were discredited.
The judge, Mr Justice Maddison, said the police had "ample grounds" for arresting and prosecuting the men.
But Jonathan Rees said outside court: "I should never have been prosecuted."