On a very cold Tuesday at 12 noon I met with Isobel Hulsmann outside the Home Office. Isabel is 83 years old and for the past 24 years she and her family have been at the centre of what London's Assistant Police Commissioner called "one of the most deplorable episodes in the entire history of the Metropolitan Police Service."
In March 1987 Daniel Morgan, Isabel's son, was found in a carpark in Sydenham with an axe buried in his head. It was immediately apparent to the Morgan family that the murder investigation which followed was crippled by police corruption.
From that day to this they have lobbied and pleaded with high ranking police officers, politicians of all shades and the media for justice. The Morgan family have been lied to and let down time and again and they describe the experience as nothing short of torture. As a result of their fight the investigation into Daniel's murder has been reopened four times, it has also collapsed four times.
Through these investigations numerous links between the London Police, the News of the World and London's gang-land activity have been uncovered. The crimes that are alleged from phone-tapping to harassing witnesses to drug dealing to murder are so numerous and extensive that we do not know how far the web of corruption spreads. However, one cold fact remains for Isabel. She still does not know who murdered her son. Nobody has ever been brought to justice.
Early last year at the Metropolitan Police Authority, I was successful in getting unanimous support for a motion which stated that a judicial inquiry into the murder of Daniel Morgan was the only realistic way forward for the family. I wrote to the Home Secretary along with the Morgan family urging that a judicial inquiry was the one option left to shed light on the whole complex and murky background of the case.
The Home Secretary replied saying that there is already an internal review being compiled about police corruption arising out of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. She said "Subject to what arises from that review, I would need to give thought to what any inquiry would achieve."
And that is what brought Isabel all the way from Wales yesterday. She wants to speak to the Home Secretary, to make her case face-to-face, to tell her exactly what an inquiry would achieve; light on a web of police corruption that needs more than an internal review, truth about what actually happened to Daniel, and justice for a family who have been campaigning for almost 25 years.
There is no greater testament to the strength of Isabel and the Morgan family that despite the numerous times they have been told 'no' by police detectives and commissioners by officials and politicians they never stop fighting. The Morgan family need Home Secretary to initiate this independent judicial inquiry and so do we. Their fight is our fight. The corruption and sickness within the system that has been unearthed by Daniel's murder needs to exposed and eradicated.
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