It was not the only time that Alastair Morgan was to have his doubts about the way the inquiry was going. “From the very outset, it seemed to me that a lot of red herrings had been placed in the path of the murder squad.”
In February 1989, three people were arrested for the murder: Paul Goodridge; his then girlfriend, Jean Wisden; and Jonathon Rees. A committal date was set for May, but shortly afterwards all charges were dropped when Hampshire reported to the Police Complaints Authority that there was “no evidence whatsoever of police or other involvement in the murder”. Two police officers Alan Purvis and Peter Foley received substantial damages in an out-of-court settlement from the Metropolitan Police for false imprisonment.
Shocked by this conclusion, the family began lobbying MP’s. The family and their MPs held a series of meetings with senior Scotland Yard officers and later with the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon, in November 1997. Condon promised to review the case. In fact later in 1998 without the knowledge of Daniel’s family, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Roy Clark, head of Scotland Yard’s ‘ghost squad’ began a covert inquiry into the murder concentrating on Southern Investigations’ offices in Thornton Heath.
In 2002 the Met began a fourth inquiry into the murder and in September 2003 the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
In February 2004, former cabinet minister Chris Smith, Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams and Lord Livesey of Talgarth wrote to then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, calling for a public inquiry into the murder and for a private meeting to explain their grave concerns over the way senior officers in two police forces have handled the case. No meeting was granted and in June 2004 policing minister, Hazel Blears, refused the call for a public inquiry. Two months later she again refused an inquiry.
The family’s legal representatives, Raju Bhatt and Keir Starmer QC are challenging the decision in the High Court. Alastair Morgan said, “For us, all of the constitutional safeguards have collapsed like dominoes. The first inquiry misled the Coroner’s court. The outside inquiry secretly changed its remit and misled the Police Complaints Authority. The third inquiry was conducted behind our backs and the fourth was doomed from the start. Government ministers have also been grossly misled. I believe that the future probity of the Met rests on a public inquiry into my brother’s murder.”
From the Justice for Daniel website:
The Statement by the Morgan family is here
Alastair Morgan’s interview: James O’Brien on LBC Radio is here
Alastair Morgan’s interview: Nicky Campbell on BBC 5 Live is here
Commons questions 24 May 2021 is here
29 years on and still no answers on Daniel Morgan murder
10 March 2016
Memorial stone marks 25th anniversary
10 March 2012
Murder judicial inquiry call as MP raises case in Parliament
29 February 2012
Metropolitan Police apology over Daniel Morgan murder
31 March 2011
Daniel Morgan axe murder case: timeline
11 March 2011