Met commissioner apologises to Daniel Morgan's family over 'cycle of corruption' and failures investigating his murder

19 July 2023, 06:16 | Updated: 19 July 2023, 07:09

The Met has settled with Daniel Morgan's relative over failures in investigating his killing
The Met has settled with Daniel Morgan's relative over failures in investigating his killing. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Met police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has apologised "unequivocally" to the family of Daniel Morgan for the force's failure to bring his killer to justice.

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The police service said it had settled with the private investigator's family after relatives planned to bring forward civil claims.

Mr Morgan was found in a pub car park in Sydenham, South East London, with an axe buried into his head in 1987.

The killer has never been found and in 2021 a panel found the Met repeatedly covered up its failures during the investigation.

His family believed he was working on exposing police corruption.

The Met has now settled with Mr Morgan's relatives. The force said in a statement on Wednesday morning that details would not be released but reports earlier in the week suggested it had paid around £2m, one of the biggest ever payouts from a British police service.

"I unequivocally and unreservedly apologise for the failure of the Metropolitan Police Service to bring those responsible for the murder of Daniel Morgan to justice," Sir Mark said.

Read more: Daniel Morgan's family to receive £2m over Met's murder probe failings in one of British policing's biggest ever payouts

Nobody has been brought to justice over Morgan's murder
Nobody has been brought to justice over Morgan's murder. Picture: Alamy

"From the earliest stages, his family have been repeatedly and inexcusably let down by the Metropolitan Police.

"This case has been marred by a cycle of corruption, professional incompetence, and defensiveness that has repeated itself over and over again.

"Daniel Morgan’s family were given empty promises and false hope as successive investigations failed and the Metropolitan Police prioritised its reputation at the expense of transparency and effectiveness.

"No words can do justice to the pain and suffering that has been a feature of the family’s lives for more than three decades as they have fought for justice, a fight which no family should have to endure. Their tenacious campaigning has exposed multiple and systemic failings in this organisation.

Sir Mark has apologised as the Met settled with his relatives
Sir Mark has apologised as the Met settled with his relatives. Picture: Alamy

"I have met with the family and listened to vivid and moving accounts of the devastating impact those failings have had on their lives. They have explained how their trust in policing has been eroded.

"The personal commitment I made to tackling corruption in this organisation when I took over as Commissioner has never been stronger."

Read more: Sadiq Khan left 'speechless' after Daniel Morgan files found in locked safe

In a joint statement, the family and the Met said: "As a result of a formal mediation process in July 2023, the parties were able to agree a mutually satisfactory settlement of the proposed claims, including an admission of liability on behalf of the Commissioner in respect of the conduct of his officers in response to the murder.

"At the request of the family of Daniel Morgan, all other terms of the settlement are confidential to the parties. Accordingly, the parties will not be making any further comments to the media about the terms of settlement or the mediation."

It was reported by The Times that the family was disappointed Sir Mark did not brand the Met as institutionally corrupt, something he has avoided doing.

Nobody has been brought to justice over Mr Morgan's murder, despite a spend of £50m and a number of investigations.

Isobel Hulsman, Alistair Morgan and Jane McCarthy, the mother, brother and sister of Daniel Morgan, pictured in 2008.
Isobel Hulsman, Alistair Morgan and Jane McCarthy, the mother, brother and sister of Daniel Morgan, pictured in 2008. Picture: Alamy

The panel, chaired by Baroness Nuala O'Loan, said the family may never face justice after probes were botched by shoddy police work and corruption.

Officers did not properly record evidence or protect the crime scene, documents went missing from Mr Morgan's office and some cops protected suspects.

Later investigations failed to look into corruption claims, and the panel branded the force institutionally corrupt.

Four men were cleared of murder 12 years ago because of failures and the handling of a "supergrass" witness. They later received a payout for malicious prosecution.

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