Daniel Morgan case: Three former suspects awarded damages

image copyrightPA
image captionDaniel Morgan's former business partner Jonathan Rees (centre) and brothers Garry and Glenn Vian (left and right)

Three men who were charged with murdering a private investigator have been awarded damages of £414,000 after winning a malicious prosecution claim against the Metropolitan Police.

Daniel Morgan was found dead with an axe embedded in his skull in the car park of a London pub in 1987.

Jonathan Rees and brothers Garry and Glenn Vian were charged with his murder in 2008.

But the proceedings collapsed after a key piece of evidence was compromised.

A High Court judge ruled Mr Rees and Glenn Vian should each receive £155,000, and Garry Vian £104,000.

The men originally lost their damages claim in the High Court, but won an appeal in 2018.

image copyrightPA
image captionThe killing of Daniel Morgan, a father-of-two, remains unsolved despite several police investigations

Mr Morgan was found outside the back of the Golden Lion in Sydenham, south-east London. His family said the father-of-two, originally from Llanfrechfa, near Cwmbran, was on the verge of exposing police corruption.

In 2008, Mr Morgan's former business partner Mr Rees, the Vian brothers and a fourth man were charged with murder.

However, in March 2011, proceedings were discontinued and not guilty verdicts entered.

image captionMr Morgan was found in the car park of the Golden Lion in Sydenham

The court had heard a key "plank" of the prosecution case hinged on the evidence of a "known criminal" called Gary Eaton, who went from being unwilling to name any of the participants in the murder to naming Mr Rees and the Vian brothers.

But his evidence was excluded and the four men spent two years on remand before the case against them was aborted and a formal not guilty verdict was made by the judge.

Announcing her decision, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said a previous judge had ruled the evidence inadmissible because Det Ch Supt David Cook, who oversaw the investigation, "had compromised the integrity of the evidence Mr Eaton proposed to give by initiating or allowing extensive contact with the witness in contravention of express agreements and accepted procedures".

media captionAlastair Morgan: "I made a promise to expose the corruption"

She said the damages award included a sum to "highlight and condemn the egregious and shameful behaviour of a senior and experienced police officer" and that "honest belief in guilt cannot justify prosecuting a suspect on false evidence".

She added: "There is no place for any form of 'noble-cause' justification for corrupt practices in those trusted to uphold the law."

Daniel Morgan murder timeline

10 March 1987: Daniel Morgan's body, with an axe embedded in his head, is found in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham

3 April 1987: Six men are arrested over the murder but police find there is not enough evidence to charge any of them

April 1988: An inquest at Southwark Coroner's Court gives a verdict of unlawful killing

24 June 1988: The Met refers the case to a police watchdog after allegations against the police by Mr Morgan's family

9 June 1989: An IPCC inquiry concludes without any evidence produced to support any allegation of criminal misconduct by Met officers

October 2001: A review by the Met's Murder Review Group recommends the case should be re-investigated

June 2002: Police appeal for witnesses and information on the case on TV programme Crimewatch

March 2006: Another investigation, Operation Abelard Two, begins

August 2006: Two men are arrested and bailed. A third is arrested the following month

23 April 2008: Jonathan Rees and brothers Glenn and Garry Vian are charged with murder along with a fourth man James Cook

March 2010: The four accused, who have been on remand, are granted bail after their time custody goes over the set limit

Mid-2010: Mr Cook is discharged

March 2011: Mr Rees and Glenn and Garry Vian are formally acquitted

May 2013: Home Office announces an independent inquiry into the Met's handling of Mr Morgan's murder

February 2017: Mr Rees and Glenn and Garry Vian sue the Met Police for damages, but their claims are thrown out by a judge

20 March 2017: Thirtieth anniversary of Mr Morgan's murder

November 2017: Mr Morgan's mother Isobel Hulsmann dies age 89

5 July 2018: The Court of Appeal's civil division rules in favour of Mr Rees and the Vian brothers

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