In1987 Daniel Morgan was brutally murdered in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south London. Despite their near quarter century search for justice, his family and friends are no nearer finding his killers today than they in the immediate aftermath of his death.
Having lived through five police investigations and a pre-trial hearing at the Old Bailey, which collapsed spectacularly early this year, the family was hopeful that a meeting yesterday with Home Secretary Theresa May would finally offer then some comfort. I have been supporting the family for some years and joined the meeting.
At 84 years of age Daniel's mother Isobel was desperately seeking some kind of closure. She has known since the collapsed hearing that she will not now see anyone charged with Daniel's murder. The several police investigations had revealed a scale of police incompetence and alleged corruption that was unheard of; but they never found his killer. All Isobel now wanted was to get to the truth about her son's murder; and to get to it in public using a judicial inquiry.
The Home Secretary listened politely, but was only prepared to offer yet another police investigation. Given the family's experience, this was tantamount to an insult and the Home Secretary, clearly, had been badly advised.
I do hope that she will take a moment to reflect, and change her mind. I hope, having met them, that she will recognise an ordinary family who have faced extraordinary circumstances and that she will work to restore their faith in a system that has failed them entirely. The only way of doing this is for her to set up an independent judicial inquiry; and do it quickly.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "It is deeply regrettable that Daniel Morgan's killers have not been brought to justice and we understand the strength of feeling this case has caused. The Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are currently conducting internal investigations into the case and we expect their findings shortly."
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