UK

Stephen Lawrence: 'Corrupt Detective Had Links To Murderer's Family'

07/03/2014 15:01 GMT | Updated 07/03/2014 15:59 GMT

An allegedly corrupt officer who worked on the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation could be linked to an unsolved case concerning the killing of a private investigator.

Former detective sergeant John Davidson was named as suspected of having corrupt links to the gangster father of one of the thugs who was ultimately convicted of Stephen's racist murder in Mark Ellison QC's review.

Announcing the findings, Home Secretary Theresa May said Mr Ellison had established possible links between Mr Davidson and the investigation into the murder of Daniel Morgan.

Mr Morgan was found with an axe in his head in a pub car park in south-east London on March 10, 1987.

Last year, Mrs May appointed an independent panel to look at "police involvement in the murder" after Scotland Yard admitted corruption was a ''debilitating factor'' in the original investigation.

The Home Secretary said yesterday: "Ellison also refers to possible links between an allegedly corrupt officer involved in the Stephen Lawrence case - DS Davidson - and the investigation into the murder of Daniel Morgan.

"Ellison finds that the Daniel Morgan Panel may therefore uncover material relevant to the question of corruption. And so it is key that the Daniel Morgan Panel continues its important work."

stephen lawrence

A public inquiry is to be launched into the work of undercover officers

Mr Ellison set out allegations that Mr Davidson was in the pay of Clifford Norris, drug-smuggling father of David Norris, who was convicted of Stephen's murder in 2012.

Claims against Mr Davidson, who has always denied wrongdoing, were made by his former colleague Neil Putnam, a corrupt officer turned supergrass.

Mr Davidson and Putnam were part of the so-called "groovy gang" - detectives based at the East Dulwich office of the now disbanded south east regional crime squad (Sercs).

In the Lawrence review, Mr Ellison said a number of officers who were or are under suspicion of corruption were connected to the Daniel Morgan murder investigation.

Last summer, Mr Ellison's team was told the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel was at an early stage and a huge amount of material had not been indexed.

In February this year, the Ellison review was told by Scotland Yard that there is no record of Mr Davidson being involved in the investigation into the murder of Mr Morgan.

READ MORE: Stephen Lawrence Report Shows 'Deeply Troubling' Suspicion Of Met Policeman Corruption

However, Mr Ellison said he had "some reservations about accepting this assertion" in the absence of further consideration of the material held by the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel.

"In any event, a number of the officers involved in the Daniel Morgan investigation can be linked to DS Davidson," he added.

"We remain concerned that there is a real possibility that the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel may hold or acquire material of relevance to our review of the corruption issue."

After numerous separate police investigations into the Morgan case between 1987 and 2002, the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued the final attempted prosecution of five suspects in 2011.

The cost of the five police inquiries and inquest into the death of Mr Morgan, as well as three years of legal hearings, is unofficially estimated at £30 million.