The Daniel Morgan Murder 18 years on…

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Sad Day at the Golden Lion

Daniel Morgan was found brutually murdered with an axe embedded in his head in the car park of the Golden Lion on March 10th 1987. The murder led to allegations of involvement, corruption and incompentence by the Metropolitan Police. An enquiry by the Hampshire Constabulary did not settle the matter. For eighteen years the Morgan family have fought for a public enquiry. The government has refused. The family are now taking the Home Office to court to reverse the decision.

Today Daniel’s mother, Isobel aged 77, came up from Hay on Wye in Wales and visited Sydenham for the first time. She laid a floral tribute on the eighteenth anniversary in memory of her son accompanied by brother Alastair, friends and her local Brecon Lib Dem MP and fellow campaigner Roger Williams MP.

Isobel and Alastair laid their tribute on the spot Daniel was found (backing onto the Lidl supermarket). Isobel confided that “this is the most miserable place to end your life”.

TV crews from the BBC, ITV & Sky News were there to record the occasion and in doing so refuting the government’s claim that “there is no public interest in the case”. Jim Dowd MP was unable to attend but has reiterated his support for an enquiry.

Roger has led the campaign in parliament for a Public Enquiry. He has described the case as “the worst example of police malpractice I have ever encountered”. Roger was also saddened at the extra waste of public money in having to fight on in the courts to get the Enquiry.

He pointed out that on a day that Parliament was debating the terror laws “it is important that the public has trust in the police. It is important that they are seen to be properly accountable”.

Alastair Morgan, who runs the family’s Justice for Daniel website, gave interviews detailing the specific complaints the family are making against the conduct of the metropolitan police.

He described how evidence had been tampered with, removed and hidden. He claimed that police involved had been part of the investigating team and alleged that the cover up went up “to the highest levels”.

The family gave tribute to the Guardian journalists who had tirelessly pursued the truth of this affair and claimed that it had cost them their jobs. The journalists Michael Gillard and Laurie Flynn subsequently published the book ‘Untouchables; Dirty Cops, Bent Justice and Racism in Scotland Yard’ devoting chapter four to this case.

There certainly do appear to be many disturbing features of this case. Should such allegations hang in the air to dog the reputation of our police force? Should they be brave enough to open the files to public scrutiny no matter what they may reveal. Would this not enable us to have more faith that the police can be trusted in the future? Have you say now….

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