Secretive freemason run cop union being forced to open their corrupt books
Secretive police union told to open its books to the public and put its house in order or face new laws that will force it to reform
Damian Green says the Police Federation must open up
Federation must also enact 'genuine and sustained change'
Failure to do so means the Government 'will have to act instead'
The secretive police union is today told to put its house in order or face tough new laws forcing it to reform.
Police minister Damian Green says the Police Federation must open its books and make public details of accounts containing millions of pounds.
The Federation – still reeling from the fallout from Plebgate, its political campaigning and revelations about credit card spending and off-shore accounts – must also enact 'genuine and sustained change', he says.
A failure to do so means the Government 'will have to act instead, in the interests both of the police and the public', he said.
His strongly-worded intervention comes after it emerged that the Federation paid a controversial PR firm for advice on using 'guerrilla tactics' against the Government in the run-up to the Plebgate scandal.
The strategy also called for a 'blitzkrieg' to halt government plans to reform pay and conditions for officers.
Yesterday a former senior official at the Federation, Fiona McElroy, told MPs about the bullying, boozy, spendthrift culture at the organisation's £26million headquarters in Leatherhead, Surrey.
Miss McElroy, who says she was unfairly dismissed by Federation bosses after advocating reform, confirmed that it had paid a PR firm thousands of pounds for advice.
It also emerged:
Current Federation chairman Steve Williams considered resigning after he had been 'bullied and ridiculed' by colleagues;
A member of staff was sent a 'personally abusive' email late one Friday night by another individual at the Federation;
Miss McElroy came under 'personal attack' from officials in the aftermath of a withering report on the organisation;
She was warned through intermediaries – including two ex colleagues – that she could face legal action over giving evidence to MPs;
Literature issued by the PR firm also outlined in detail how it skilfully exploited Plebgate for the Federation's political ends.
Mr Green's warning to the Federation comes in an article for the union's in-house magazine, Police. In it, he writes he is most concerned about 'financial propriety' around so-called 'number 2 accounts' held by local branches.
These are thought to contain tens of millions of pounds and details of their contents were not declared to the Normington Review – a report by former Home Office mandarin Sir David Normington which also recommended radical change.
He says the Federation must show its members how 'every penny' of both their and the public's money is spent and calls for 'full transparency' on spending.
Mr Green says the Federation has a responsibility to ensure money is spent 'sensibly and transparently'.
'Any officer at any time should be able to know where every penny of their money has gone,' he said.
And he warns that no organisation 'can expect to abuse public trust or members' resources'.
Mr Green said: 'I would prefer the Federation to decide how they do it themselves to the timetable set by David Normington. If they do not, we stand prepared to take action if necessary.'
Miss McElroy's testimony before the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday will also heap pressure on the Federation to modernise.
She confirmed details of a secret plot outlined in a £10,000-a-month contract handed to a public relations company run by former DJ Jon Gaunt.
This was weeks before the Plebgate incident in September 2012 involving then Government chief whip Andrew Mitchell and a policeman at the gates of Downing Street.
Mr Mitchell has always denied calling Downing Street police officers '****ing plebs', insisting the row was hijacked by Federation officials for political ends.
Under questioning from Tory MP Michael Ellis, Miss McElroy – sacked as head of communications at the Federation in February – confirmed she had seen the contract.
She said: 'I was aware of a contract that had been put in place. The reason I came across it was when I joined the organisation and I was trying to understand where the risks were.'
She confirmed she had seen the words 'guerrilla tactics' in the contract, but did not recall seeing 'blitzkrieg'. Other sources confirm that 'blitzkrieg' was in the document.
Literature issued by Mr Gaunt's firm has also outlined in detail how it exploited Plebgate for the Federation's political ends.
Miss McElroy added: 'I said there are much more sophisticated ways to engage and debate without making it personal, aggressive, hostile and still achieve the same aims.'
Miss McElroy said the chairman of the Federation Steve Williams 'was considering his own position and was asking me to help him on how to move in that way' after the Normington Report on the organisation was published in January.
She said: 'He had personally been criticised, verbally ridiculed, attacked and bullied.' On bullying, she said was confronted in a bar by a colleague at 10pm when 'much alcohol had been consumed'.
She said there were no rules about how Federation corporate credit cards were used. She said there was a meeting of Federation reps from across the UK when they ran up bills of 'some £300 or £400'.
Both the Police Federation and former Sun columnist Mr Gaunt, 53, have refused to discuss the 'guerrilla tactics' contract.
Once again the gutter press fail to expose the freemasons behind corruption in the police. They also fail to
address the use of British cops as a major tool by lawyers and judges to relieve men of all their worldly possessions
and children by the threatening stance they take in CIVIL actions which they should NOT be involved in.
Also the report suggests they do NOT properly address reports of domestic violence , that may be the case for
men being attacked by women but the use of DV by crooked lawyers, judges and cops to smear men during divorce and prior to
removal from their properties, children and bank balances is the BIGGEST criminal racket across the UK and as ever the gutter press
fail to address.
Public trust in the police has been severely shaken by recent corruption scandals, a major report warned yesterday.
In a worrying assessment, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor said the public felt badly let down by the failure of officers to live up to expected standards of integrity.
The Stephen Lawrence investigation, Hillsborough, Plebgate, revelations about undercover officers, the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 riots and other recent controversies have, he said, left the police damaged – despite ordinary bobbies being more honest than they were in the 1960s and 1970s.
In his 163-page assessment of the State of Policing in England and Wales, Mr Winsor concludes forces are:
Failing properly to investigate home break-ins, domestic abuse and car crime;
Ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deal with new types of crime such as online fraud;
Leaving officers with primitive technology more than a decade old;
Mired in inefficiency and unnecessary bureaucracy.
But it is his conclusions around public trust in the police which will raise the most concern.
He added: ‘The police service has been damaged, but it is certainly not broken.’ Mr Winsor called on police leaders to ‘repair the damage which has been done’ with a commitment to the highest standards of professional conduct and to the vigorous and uncompromising establishment of the truth.
Those who have violated the high standards that police officers should abide by deserve firm treatment, the report said.
It said: ‘[The public’s] expectations are that police officers will adhere to standards of honesty and conduct which are appreciably higher than those demanded of most others. And it is in that respect that the public feel badly let down – and perhaps afraid – when police officers are exposed as having failed.’
Before he was appointed to head the HMIC, Mr Winsor wrote two reports proposing widespread and radical reforms of the police.
Until then, policing workplace practices were ‘stale and discredited’ and some officers developed a sense that forces ‘deserved to be insulated from fundamental and searching review’, he concluded.
The failure properly to combat the huge rise in cybercrime had handed the advantage to offenders and left the public at risk.
‘The internet opens a new portal in our homes to those who do us harm,’ he said.
Mr Winsor pointed to burglary detection rates among forces as low as 15 per cent and also raised ‘real concerns’ about the handling of domestic abuse cases and car crime.
And, he said, criminals have got off as a result of the sloppy writing of reports for the Crown Prosecution Service.
Labour policing spokesman Jack Dromey said the report raised serious questions about the future of British policing.
‘Public trust in the police has been damaged by allegations of misconduct, failed investigations and cover-ups,’ Mr Dromey said.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Tom Winsor’s report rightly points out that recent allegations about misconduct have damaged but not broken public confidence in the police. The majority of police officers conduct themselves honestly.’
Masonic Met betrayed my brother: cop corruption link Stephen Lawrence and Daniel Morgan murders
Daniel Morgan and Stephen Lawrence
Once again the gutter press fail to connect the dots to freemasons in the met.
The Met betrayed my brother: Last week we exposed police corruption linking the botched Stephen Lawrence probe and the axe killing of a private eye. Today we reveal chilling new testimony
During Easter week of 2005, Alastair Morgan received a letter. ‘I sympathise with your family situation and all what you are going through since your brother’s death,’ it began.
‘What is so unbelievable is the level of corruption that existed in the police force then, and the fact that it looks like it is still going on.
‘Each time you hear of a horrific murder, you are looking to the one source that is supposed to be in the position to provide you with justice, and it is not there.’
The letter — never before published — was written by Doreen Lawrence, mother of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was fatally stabbed by a gang of racist white youths in Eltham, South-East London, in April 1993.
Alastair Morgan’s younger brother Daniel, 37, had been killed with an axe in a pub car park in Sydenham — five miles from the Lawrence murder scene — in March 1987.
Doreen concluded: ‘I would support your call for a public inquiry that would get to the bottom of your brother’s murder and the issues that led to his death. I can see why you are having an uphill struggle with this. This is a whole can of worms that you are opening . . . it is going to be a long struggle, and a lot of people will be covering their backs.’
How right she was, but then she would know. The ‘people’ covering their backs were, of course, the police.
Eighteen-year-old Stephen’s death and the failure by the Metropolitan Police — subsequently deemed ‘institutionally racist’ by the Macpherson Inquiry — to investigate it properly remains the greatest blot on the force’s reputation and integrity in modern times.
Indeed, this week Doreen Lawrence, now Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, told the House of Lords the Met needs to clear up corruption urgently before it can regain the trust of the public.
Yet while the unsolved Morgan murder had attracted only a fraction of the publicity of the Lawrence case, the circumstances surrounding it, and the failure to secure a conviction, raise almost as many questions about the probity and competence of Britain’s biggest force — particularly its specialist detective squads in the same South London area.
In a Mail special investigation last Saturday, we looked at the alleged police corruption linking the murders of Lawrence and Morgan. Today, Alastair Morgan reveals the harrowing story of his 27-year fight for justice and his savage criticisms of the police and politicians who have repeatedly let this family down.
Though Alastair and Doreen Lawrence have never met, today they are united not only by the pain of loss but the mounting suspicion that the investigations into the murders of their loved ones were hampered, if not sabotaged, by corrupt policemen, working hand in hand with serious organised criminals.
A review headed by QC Mark Ellison, which reported this month into possible corruption in the Lawrence case, raised the possibility that a particular detective sergeant who was ‘corrupt’ was linked to both cases. Not only that, thousands of documents, compiled by an internal ‘ghost squad’ of anti-corruption detectives in the period immediately after Stephen’s murder, were mysteriously shredded a decade ago.
On Tuesday, Alastair Morgan sat near Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe when the Met Commissioner gave evidence before the Home Affairs select committee about possible corruption in the Lawrence inquiry.
‘I had to leave the room in the first minutes and compose myself because it was such a ridiculous performance,’ says Alastair. 'It was an embarrassment. Rather than trying to get to the truth, he wants to keep himself as far away as possible. We know nothing more now than before he spoke.’
Alastair, a translator, is a man palpably worn out by nearly three decades of campaigning. Over that time he has received anonymous death threats, sought courses of psychiatric counselling and witnessed the suffering of his widowed mother Isobel, now 86 years old: ‘I see her and think, you b******s,’ he says. ‘They have done this to us. I am terribly angry with the police.’
What he hasn’t done is give up.
Perhaps the determination comes from his father, also called Daniel, who fought with the Parachute Regiment at Arnhem in 1944, where he was wounded and captured. Commissioned after the war, he was posted to Singapore, where he met and married Isobel, an Army telephonist.
Both Morgan boys — Alastair was only 11 months older than Daniel — were born in the then colony. A sister, Jane, followed later.
All three were educated at a rural Welsh grammar school. Daniel, a gregarious boy who loved working with his hands, went to agricultural college, but later joined a detective agency through a family contact. In 1984 he founded his own business in South London called Southern Investigations. He invited a colleague from his old firm to join him. His name was Jonathan Rees.
The Morgan family’s ordeal began when Daniel, by then a married father of two, was found one evening with a hatchet in his head, in the car park of the Golden Lion public house.
In the months leading up to his death, his relationship with Rees had become troubled. Rees had many friends among local CID officers and hired some of them — against police regulations — to moonlight for the firm, something of which Daniel disapproved. One of the officers was a detective called Sid Fillery.
The situation came to a climax a year before the murder when Rees claimed to have been robbed of £18,000 cash that belonged to a car auction firm which he and the moonlighting officers were supposed to be protecting.
It was alleged at the inquest into the murder that Rees began talking of having Daniel framed by his bent copper friends, or even killed. Daniel had spoken of going to a newspaper to blow the whistle on police corruption.
When the private detective was killed, Fillery was part of the initial murder investigation and helped identify the body — even though he knew Rees and the dead man, and had been drinking with them at the Golden Lion the night before Daniel was killed. Surely a conflict of interest?
So what light can Alastair Morgan shed on that devastating time? ‘The last time I saw my brother alive was about a month before the murder,’ he says. ‘He was going to Malta to do a job for a client.
‘Just before he went away, his house and office were burgled. Dan was worried about leaving his wife and kids alone while he was away, and he asked me to come and stay in a spare room, and take over his desk at Southern Investigations.
‘On the day he came back, I was there with him in his office. Jonathan Rees stuck his head around the door and said: “Dan, can I have a word?” Dan returned ten minutes later and stood by the window chewing his lip as if he was troubled. I asked him what was the matter and he mentioned a name I had never heard of before.
‘I asked “Who’s that, then?” and he replied “He’s a bent copper, Alastair. They’re all over the place”.’
Alastair had met Jonathan Rees on a number of occasions and, he says, liked him a little less each time.
It was in the early hours of the morning after his brother’s death that Alastair received a phone call from his mother. He recalls: ‘She said: “Alastair, I have some very bad news, brace yourself because it’s really bad. Daniel’s dead.” ’ He asked what had happened. She said she didn’t know but had been called by the Met, who would not give her any details.
‘My brain started whirring,’ he says. ‘What could have happened? Dan was in good health. So I decided to ring his partner at Southern Investigations, Jonathan Rees. He would know, I thought.’
When he got through to Rees, he says he was told by the investigator that Daniel had been ‘fatally mugged’ after leaving a meeting with Rees at the pub.
‘Rees said he thought that Daniel had been battered to death,’ says Alastair. ‘I was suspicious. I had got to see him face to face.’ Alastair took a taxi from his home in Petersfield, Hampshire, to South London. Rees agreed to meet him at a pub.
‘One of the first things he said was: “I have just come back from the mortuary. It was still in his head.” I asked him what he meant, and he said he was referring to the murder weapon.
‘I then asked him about what possible motive someone could have for killing Dan. He said he had been in his office that morning and “some nutter” rang up and said “I know who killed Daniel”.
He said it was a woman and that she’d said Daniel had been having an affair with her daughter and that she reckoned it was her son-in-law who did it.
‘I asked who she was, and Rees said: “I didn’t ask her name.” ’
Alastair wanted to speak to the police detective Sid Fillery, whom he had met a year before. Fillery knew both Daniel and Jonathan Rees, whom Alastair now strongly suspected of involvement in the murder. Surely Fillery’s would be a trusted opinion.
When Alastair saw Fillery, he told him that his ‘gut feeling’ was that Rees was involved in the death and that it had something to do with the car auction robbery.
‘Fillery told me they could not rush down blind alleys on the strength of a gut feeling. Where was my proof? At the end of our conversation, Fillery said: “If you have any concerns ring me up and we will talk about it over a beer.” ’
In the aftermath of Daniel’s death, Alastair painstakingly pieced together his final days.
He says: ‘Five days before he was murdered [on a Tuesday], Dan arrived at his home and spoke to his elderly next-door neighbour. Dan said to her: “You will never guess what I have found out today. All police are b******s”.’
On the Sunday, two days before his death, Daniel went to an Austin Healey sports car owners’ event in North London. He had bought one of the cars and restored it. At the event he spoke to two friends, one of whom he told about his suspicions over the robbery of the car auction cash.
Daniel apparently told the other acquaintance that he was ‘dealing with serious police corruption and could not go to anyone at the Met because he could not trust them, and was thinking of going to an outside force’.
After Daniel’s murder, the two car enthusiasts he had talked to decided to contact the police and tell them this potentially important information. One was interviewed, but was never called to be a witness at the inquest into the murder. The other was not even spoken to formally.
Three weeks after the murder at the Golden Lion, Rees and Fillery were arrested on suspicion of being involved in killing Daniel. Their connection to the car auction robbery was a focus of police inquiries.
But by then, as was the case six years later with the Lawrence murder investigation, there had been inexplicable delays and muddle in the police inquiry.
Rees and Fillery, who have always denied any involvement, were released for lack of evidence. In 1989, they were arrested and charged in connection with the murder, but again the case foundered due to lack of evidence. By then, Fillery had retired from the Met on health grounds and filled Daniel Morgan’s vacancy at Southern Investigations.
More police investigations into the killing followed. One of them resulted in Rees being jailed for an unrelated conspiracy, while separately Fillery was convicted of child porn offences. But there was no justice for Daniel.
Alastair Morgan pressed for a judicial inquiry. He says he was let down by a succession of police commissioners and Labour Home Office ministers.
‘Jack Straw, David Blunkett and Hazel Blears didn’t take us seriously,’ he says. ‘Only my constituency MP Chris Smith was persuaded that serious corruption had happened.’
The Mail has seen a sheaf of letters sent over the years by senior policemen, civil servants and politicians, fobbing off the Morgan family.
A fifth investigation, announced in 2006, resulted two years later in the re-arrests of Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery. Two brothers — convicted drug smugglers, whose sister was married to Rees — were also arrested and charged. One of them was accused of wielding the fatal hatchet.
But the case collapsed in 2011, largely because the Met had lost track of many of the 750,000 documents related to the case.
'There will never be a criminal trial of the suspects, unless someone confesses. The police have muddied and muddled and fudged so much over the years they have made it impossible'
Today, Alastair says: ‘There will never be a criminal trial of the suspects, unless someone confesses. The police have muddied and muddled and fudged so much over the years they have made it impossible.
‘It took me 17 years to get inside the Home Office to meet a minister who even then wasn’t prepared to help, and 25 years to get a meeting with the Home Secretary.’
He met Theresa May last week, though he has been asked not to discuss what passed between them.
Commissioner Hogan-Howe’s suggestion that there could be a sixth police investigation into his brother’s death troubles him.
A Hillsborough-style inquiry was launched by Theresa May last year and though it is progressing far more slowly than the Morgan family would like, it would be derailed entirely if criminal inquiries were resumed for reasons of sub judice. ‘It would be catastrophic,’ he says.
In 2005, Alastair Morgan sent a reply to Doreen Lawrence’s letter in which he wrote: ‘I am convinced that the Met’s failure to deal with corruption when Daniel was murdered had a direct link with the poisoning of the inquiries into Stephen’s murder and the corruption crisis as a whole.
‘I also believe that the secret "inquiry" [the investigations by the ‘ghost squad’ into police corruption] that they undertook while the Stephen Lawrence inquiry was taking place was designed purely to keep this scandal out of the public eye while they dealt with the outrage generated by Stephen’s case.
‘I think this is profoundly unhealthy, and we are determined not to let the government or the police get away with this.’
Since then governments have come and gone, and still the police have ‘got away with it’.
Met's freemason cops use outrageous techniques to clear up crimes (to protect their brothers?)
Probe into police use of mass confessions to clear up crime after a single burglar 'admits' 500 break-ins
Scotland Yard faces a new corruption inquiry after a burglar ‘admitted’ carrying out 500 break-ins.
Four officers are under investigation amid fears the offender may have been encouraged to confess to crimes he did not commit, to help improve clear-up rates.
Last night the force suspended a system whereby crimes are ‘taken into consideration’ over concerns of widespread abuse.
It also stripped from its system the 500 ‘TICs’, a tacit admission the man’s confession was not credible.
The announcement of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s corruption unit is the latest blow to embattled Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
This week he was criticised by MPs for failing to get a grip on historic corruption allegations linked to the Stephen Lawrence investigation and the mass shredding of documents.
The Metropolitan Police is already under scrutiny over crime recording methods after a whistleblower revealed widespread fiddling of the figures.
Last night, Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, which has been investigating crime recording practices said: ‘It is a concern that some crimes may have been written off as having been dealt with by those who have no responsibility for their commission.’
MPs have also raised questions about whether the Met is giving sufficient priority and resources to investigating internal corruption.
There are only 36 staff probing disturbing allegations that Met police officers stole and trafficked in drugs, took bribes and sold confidential intelligence to criminals.
By contrast the Yard has 88 staff working on phone hacking by the media and 17 on allegations of computer hacking by journalists – a total of 105 – at a cost so far of £19.4million.
A further 40 staff are investigating the historic allegations of sexual abuse by the dead DJ Jimmy Savile and others at a cost of £3.75million.
Scotland Yard said the case of the 500 burlgaries taken into account emerged as part of a review ordered after concerns over ‘integrity’ in a routine sampling of cases.
The Met said the investigation covers almost all of south-east London, from Lambeth to Lewisham and Croydon to Bexley.
Three detective constables and a sergeant are under investigation but have not been suspended.
It is understood that, after admitting the offences, which span a nine-year period from 2004 to last year, the suspect, who has not been named, withdrew his confession.
Under the ‘taken into consideration’ system, criminals can admit offences which do not form part of the main charge they face in court.
As a result they can never be prosecuted for them, but they will not face a longer punishment as a result of admitting them.
Crucially, the crimes count as solved for the purpose of clear-up rates.
Police say the system gives closure to victims, and allows offenders to ‘wipe their slate clean’ and move on.
But critics say it is ripe for abuse and any admissions should result in a tougher punishment.
Daniel Morgan and Stephen Lawrence
COULD SECRETS OF SHREDDED FILES BE SALVAGED?
Explosive details of police corruption contained in files shredded by Scotland Yard could have been preserved by a second secret investigation into rogue officers, it has emerged.
The Metropolitan Police has admitted that it destroyed a number of documents relating to Operation Othona – a multi-million pound inquiry examining criminal behaviour by its officers – more than a decade ago.
But the force later launched another anti-corruption probe, codenamed Operation Zloty, which lasted for nine years and uncovered a network of rogue police who were working with organised criminals. A leaked police anti-corruption report from 2002 refers to Operation Zloty, stating:
‘Operation Zloty is a long-term intelligence operation to assess the threat that organised criminals and their associations with serving and retired police officers pose to the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service).
‘These subjects have been undermining the MPS with virtual immunity for the last ten years and were identified during the course of two previous intelligence-gathering operations, “Othona” and “Centaur”.’
The revelation raised hopes that some of the Othona material, described by a former head of the Met’s anti-corruption branch as ‘gold-dust stuff’, may have been saved.
If found, it could shed light on concerns that corrupt officers undermined botched investigations into the murders of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence and private eye Daniel Morgan.
The Met corruption files: A chilling investigation into the police that links the botched probe in Stephen Lawrence's murder and the axe killing of a private eye
This week saw the shocking revelation that a ‘lorry-load’ of documents compiled during a secret investigation into corruption in Britain’s biggest police force was shredded in 2003.
A secret ‘ghost squad’ of detectives involved in the inquiry uncovered proof of widespread criminality among their Metropolitan Police colleagues in the Eighties and Nineties.
Now, suspicion is growing that the original inquiries into two infamous South London murders - those of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and a private investigator named Daniel Morgan - were sabotaged by corrupt officers.
On Thursday, it was announced that Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has been called to give evidence on corruption relating to the Stephen Lawrence case at a home affairs select committee in the House of Commons next Tuesday.
Here sets out a network of gross police dishonesty, and the new lines of inquiry that could yet uncover an extraordinary scandal.
DANIEL MORGAN AXE MURDER CONNECTED TO MURDOCH MAFIA HACKING SCANDAL
THE PUB CAR PARK AXE MURDER
Daniel Morgan was unusual for a suburban private detective. Born in colonial Singapore to an Army officer father, he had trained as a farmer. Unlike many in his line of business, he’d never been a policeman.
His career came to a sudden end on the evening of March 10, 1987, when someone buried a hatchet into the side of his head in the car park of the Golden Lion public house in Sydenham, South London.
The married father of two was found lying next to his BMW and two unopened packets of crisps. The death blow left a long, crescent-shaped pool of blood on the ground and it wasn’t until after the body was taken to a mortuary that the axe was prised from his skull.
Sticking plaster had been wrapped around the weapon’s handle, apparently to prevent fingerprints and to increase grip.
Morgan’s Rolex watch had been taken, but his wallet remained untouched, as did £1,100 in cash in his suit trouser pocket.
Draw your own conclusions. You won’t be alone in thinking that robbery was not a prime motive.
In fact, the circumstances of Morgan’s murder, 27 years ago this month, have long been linked to the monstrous corruption that existed among specialist detective squads in South London in the Eighties and Nineties.
This week, it was revealed that thousands of documents - described as a ‘lorry-load’ - related to an internal police investigation into that corruption were shredded a decade ago.
Like the bloodstain across the Golden Lion car park, the unsolved Morgan case continues to blot the integrity of Britain’s largest law force, the Metropolitan Police.
Yet even that pales next to the malign legacy for the Met of its botched investigation into another killing which took place six years after Morgan’s death and, being only five miles down the road, within the same murder command.
THE STEPHEN LAWRENCE CONNECTION
Black teenager Stephen Lawrence was fatally stabbed by a gang of racist white youths in Eltham on April 22, 1993.
The initial police investigation was at best incompetent, and for years this newspaper led the campaign to get justice for the dead 18-year-old. It resulted in the conviction in 2012 of two of his suspected five murderers, David Norris and Gary Dobson.
This belated success has not quelled the desire by the Lawrences, let alone the family of Daniel Morgan, to discover why the Met failed so abysmally in the investigation of these two murders.
It is feared that widespread corruption among detectives in the Met may well have thwarted justice in both cases.
Almost a year ago, the Home Secretary ordered a Hillsborough-style inquiry into the role of police corruption in the Daniel Morgan case.
Earlier this month, meanwhile, Mark Ellison QC delivered his own independent review of possible corruption in the Stephen Lawrence case.
Not only did that make deeply uncomfortable reading for the Met but, for the first time, officially raised the possibility that there was an overlap of suspected corrupt officers involved in the investigations into both killings.
The focus of this line of inquiry is a former Met detective sergeant called John Davidson, whose probity has been the subject of official examination in the past.
Helped by access to original official documents and sources, and having examined the pivotal testimony of corrupt policemen, and the career of DS Davidson, we can now tell the story of what a secret 1994 Met corruption briefing document called the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.
POLICE CORRUPTION COVER UP OF DEATH OF PRIVATE DETECTIVE DANIEL MORGAN 24 YEARS AGO
Daniel Morgan founded Southern Investigations in Thornton Heath, South London, in 1984. His partner in the firm was a man called Jonathan Rees.
The relationship was not an easy one, and deteriorated in the months before Morgan’s grisly death in that pub car park. Rees had close links to many local CID officers, and hired them to ‘moonlight’ as security while they were off duty.
This was against police regulations and Morgan disapproved.
The issue came to a head in March 1986, when Southern Investigations was asked to protect a car auction company which had been robbed. Rees had the job of banking the firm’s takings, but after one such trip he claimed to have been attacked and robbed of £18,000 in cash.
The car auction firm did not believe this story. Daniel Morgan was furious when Rees suggested the money should be paid back out of their company’s own account.
The police investigation, which went nowhere, was led by Detective Constable Duncan Hanrahan - remember that name. He was a friend of Jonathan Rees, and through him knew Daniel Morgan.
Morgan was murdered a year later. Earlier on the fatal evening, Morgan and Rees had been drinking in the Golden Lion.
At a subsequent inquest, it was alleged that Rees had long wanted Morgan out of their firm, and had talked about having his police friends arrest him on a drink-driving charge, so that he would lose his private investigator’s licence.
More disturbingly, six months before the murder, Rees had allegedly begun to speak of having Morgan murdered. It would be arranged by his CID friends, who would ‘either do it themselves or arrange for someone on a pending charge to do it, and in return they will drop the charge’.
They were claims Rees denied.
What, then, of the police investigation into the Morgan killing which came to nothing?
One of the CID murder team was Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery. Another name to remember. Fillery had taken a statement from Jonathan Rees, and accompanied him to the mortuary to identify Morgan’s body.
What Fillery had neglected to tell his superintendent was that he was also a close friend of Rees, and had moonlighted with Southern Investigations at the car auctions.
Another employee of Southern Investigations told the inquest into the death that Fillery had removed paperwork linking himself to the business the day after the murder.
Incredibly, Fillery had even been drinking with Rees and Morgan in the Golden Lion on the night before the killing. Fillery was arrested, as was Rees, in connection with the murder, but they both denied wrongdoing and it was concluded there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge anyone.
Not long afterwards, Fillery left the police on medical grounds - and joined Southern Investigations. He had replaced the man in whose murder he had been implicated.
The Morgan family was appalled. They claimed that, shortly before his death, Morgan had spoken about going to the newspapers about local police corruption.
Hampshire police were brought in to reopen the investigation, and in February 1989 Jonathan Rees was arrested again and charged with murder, but the prosecution was halted three months later, again for lack of evidence.
This was a dark time for the Met. Not only was there no conviction in the Morgan case, but the stench of corruption was becoming overpowering.
THE GHOST SQUAD
Such was the concern among senior officers that, in late 1993, a covert ‘ghost squad’ of trusted detectives was set up to investigate. Working under the codename Operation Othona, their existence was kept secret even from their closest colleagues.
As they probed the murkier corners of the Met, one of the first names they came across was that of Detective Constable Duncan Hanrahan, who was, you might recall, the officer who led the investigation into the theft of the car auction company’s cash. (He was also a friend of Morgan’s business partner, Jonathan Rees.)
Hanrahan was arrested in 1994, and later pleaded guilty to a number of serious criminal conspiracies - relating to robbery, supplying drugs and perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to more than eight years’ imprisonment.
The private detective firm run by Hanrahan’s friend Jonathan Rees and former policeman Sid Fillery was still operating. Following lobbying by the Morgan family, Southern Investigations was targeted by a ‘ghost squad’ bugging operation in 1998.
In one surveillance report it was stated: ‘Rees and Fillery are a crucial link between the criminal fraternity and serving officers.’
This pair, remember, were both arrested in connection with the murder of Daniel Morgan. At this point, the surveillance tapes offered an intriguing link to the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.
One recording had Rees talking of ‘waiting for police to give him information on the desecration of the street memorial to… Stephen Lawrence’. (The memorial had been smashed on a number of occasions.)
The presumption must be that someone had asked Rees to find out what the Met knew about those responsible for the vandalism.
If so, who was asking the bent private detective for Lawrence-related police intelligence? It is one of many unanswered questions which must now be addressed.
We shall look at the further Lawrence connections later.
The bugging of Southern Investigations exposed an unrelated conspiracy which saw Jonathan Rees jailed for six years in 2001 for having tried to frame a client’s estranged wife for drug dealing.
Underscoring Rees’s links to corrupt officers, a serving police detective involved in the plot was also imprisoned.
So, Daniel Morgan’s former partner was behind bars - but not for his murder. The Morgan family’s wait to see someone jailed for his killing went on.
THE LAWRENCE DETECTIVE
We now come to the crucial figure of Detective Constable Neil Putnam, a bent South East Regional Crime Squad (SERCS) cop who was also a born-again Christian.
His newly acquired commitment to morality appears to have encouraged him to sing like a contrite canary when the ‘ghost squad’ came calling at his home in 1998.
An experienced detective, Putnam claimed he fell from grace only after joining the East Dulwich office of SERCS in 1991.
Routinely, drugs and drug dealers’ cash were stolen by detectives making big busts. The narcotics were then ‘recycled’ for cash, often to the very criminal informants who had given the tip-off.
Over a period of weeks, Neil Putnam gave a compelling account to the ‘ghost squad’ of wrongdoing by his fellow South London law-enforcers. A dozen or so were put in the frame.
One of them was the Scottish-born Detective Sergeant John Davidson. He was known as ‘OJ’, which stood for ‘Obnoxious Jock’.
In the summer of 1998, Putnam gave three statements to the investigators in which he alleged that Davidson had been corrupt.
Eight years later, in 2006 - though he claimed he had told the ghost squad in 1998 - Putnam alleged to BBC Panorama that Davidson had confessed to him about a corrupt relationship he had with the gangster Clifford Norris, father of Lawrence murderer David Norris.
Why is this important now? Because as a 1993 member of the South London murder squad, DS Davidson was part of the original Lawrence murder inquiry team.
Indeed, the Ellison Review spells out Davidson’s involvement in the arrest and interviews of two of the prime suspects, Gary Dobson and Luke Knight.
Davidson also dealt with an informant who named three of the five main suspects - including David Norris - whose faces appeared on the front of the Daily Mail under the headline ‘Murderers’ in 1997.
We accused them of killing Stephen Lawrence, and challenged them to sue us if we were wrong.
Davidson also took a statement from a teenager called Stacey Benefield. He had allegedly been stabbed by David Norris only weeks before Stephen Lawrence’s murder.
Benefield’s innocent role in this web of corruption is important because he was later offered £2,000 by Clifford Norris to change his story and deny he’d been stabbed by Norris’s son.
Cynics might say this is an extraordinary coincidence: a young man whom Clifford Norris had tried to corrupt had earlier been interviewed by DS Davidson. Norris junior was later controversially acquitted of the Benefield stabbing.
Davidson was suspended from duty in December 1995 over allegations of providing security and other unauthorised moonlighting services for an Australian businessman.
He was allowed to retire on ‘health grounds’, though his boss argued that ‘OJ’ was simply ‘attempting to avoid a Discipline Board and to obtain an enhanced pension in the process’.
The Ellison Review confirmed that disciplinary inquiries had been conducted into Davidson, although none resulted in any formal finding against him. Of particular concern to Yard bosses was the number of notoriously corrupt officers who were Davidson’s friends.
But crucially, the Ellison Review also found that the allegations about Davidson had not been revealed to all parties at the Macpherson Inquiry into the Met’s failed investigation of the Lawrence murder, which in 1999 delivered damning findings of ‘institutional racism’ in the force.
The Lawrence family was not told of the Davidson allegations, nor were the Met’s own legal team. Sir William Macpherson received a letter from then Deputy Commissioner John Stevens in autumn 1998, which alluded to potential Davidson issues, but that is as far as it went. Ellison described this as a ‘significant failure’.
Could it be that these lapses by police were a result of them putting the ‘ghost squad’ investigation above a need to be completely open with the Lawrence family? If so, it was a terrible mistake.
THE HIDDEN LINK BETWEEN THE MURDERS
We have established that serious questions hang over John Davidson’s role in the investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
But what of the Daniel Morgan case? Could there be an unbroken thread of corruption running through the police which links the two botched inquiries?
Last month, the Met told the Ellison Review there was no evidence of John Davidson’s participation in the Morgan case. Yet the review had found an intelligence report from 2003 which ‘states that Davidson was attached to the initial investigation of the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987’.
We have also learned that, in the early stages of the Morgan murder investigation, Davidson was working for a specialist Scotland Yard squad which was targeting two major South London criminals.
During the course of that inquiry, Davidson’s team received intelligence about a prime suspect in the Morgan case, and he liaised closely with the investigating murder squad.
Was there a link between Davidson and Jonathan Rees, the man who was charged with Morgan’s murder before the case against him was dropped by Crown Prosecution Service?
In fact, a ‘ghost squad’ surveillance tape did record Rees, his pal Sid Fillery and another disgraced officer discussing Davidson in 1999, to the effect that they knew he was being investigated by the police.
THE GRIEVING FAMILIES BETRAYED
There is no doubt the Morgan family have been betrayed by the police.
In 2006, the Metropolitan Police Authority - the watchdog which oversaw the Met’s overall performance - rejected a ‘flawed’ report by the then Commissioner Sir Ian Blair into the failed Morgan investigations. The report was deemed to have been hopelessly inadequate.
Ceaseless efforts by the Morgan family to secure justice led to an apparent breakthrough in 2008.
Morgan’s former partner Jonathan Rees - along with a number of associates - was arrested, and he was again charged with Morgan’s murder.
The former officer Sid Fillery - who had been convicted of child porn offences in 2003 - was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
But the cases foundered before they went before a jury. Why? Because the Crown Prosecution Service was uncertain that the defence had received all the related documents - estimated at 750,000 - the Met possessed.
So far, the numerous failed investigations into the Morgan murder have cost the taxpayer as much as £50million.
The ongoing inquiry into his death - which is moving so slowly that this week the Morgan family were allowed an audience with the Home Secretary to express their anger - will push that figure higher.
Could that lorry-load of destroyed files have helped to shed light on the case?
Daniel Morgan’s brother, Alastair, has made it clear he doesn’t accept an innocent explanation for the mass shredding.
He told senior officers on Twitter: ‘Don’t take the public for fools, gentlemen. The shredding of the Othona files is an out-and-out disgrace.’
So what are we to conclude about this deeply troubling web of corruption? The Macpherson Inquiry, lauded when it was published 15 years ago, is now seen by many as far from comprehensive.
Why weren’t the Lawrence family told about the doubts over John Davidson, as well as other fears of corruption?
The impression of self-serving secrecy from the Met was only heightened this week with the shredding revelations.
The Force has fudged the question of who authorised or was in charge of the shredding, though what we can say with certainty is that in 2003, Ian Blair was deputy commissioner in overall charge of the Met’s anti-corruption command.
Thus far, two men have been jailed for Stephen’s murder. Daniel Morgan’s family are still waiting for any justice.
Twenty-seven years ago, this very unusual private eye questioned the Force’s probity. Soon after that, he was murdered. Were his killers shielded by corrupt police? Were Stephen’s? Every day the truth is denied us, the stain on the Met’s reputation spreads.
As for the infamous John Davidson: he has been running a bar in Minorca, and surfaced this week to deny any wrongdoing, telling a reporter he had hired lawyers to defend himself.
When asked about the Stephen Lawrence case, he made a ‘zip-the-lips’ gesture.
Could there be a better gesture to symbolise this whole squalid saga?
How the masonic met assassins cover up their vast crime wave
Like former East Germany's stasi Britain's evil freemason run cops are out of control and getting away with murder
on a grand scale.
New details about the mass shredding of documents relating to a corruption inquiry in the Metropolitan Police have been uncovered by BBC News.
It is understood the inquiry produced a "lorry-load" of material and that the shredding took place over two days.
The destruction of the files was highlighted by the barrister Mark Ellison QC in his review of the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.
The Met said work was "ongoing" to find out what happened to the documents.
Teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993.
Mr Ellison's report found evidence that a detective involved in the original murder investigation had acted corruptly, and that material had been withheld from the subsequent Macpherson Inquiry into the police's handling of the case.
The material that was shredded was from a broader, top-secret investigation into possible police corruption that began in 1993 and came to be known as Operation Othona.
The Ellison report, published earlier this month, said it needed to see the Othona files to investigate possible links with the Lawrence case, and to establish what was known about police corruption at the time of the Macpherson Inquiry in 1998.
Some computer files relating to the Othona operation were found on a hard drive in a cardboard box in the Met Police's professional standards department in November 2013.
But hard copies of the intelligence were missing. The Ellison review was told there had been a "mass shredding" of them in 2003.
Operation Othona is understood to have generated so much material that it is highly unlikely it could have been destroyed by mistake.
One source said there had been a "lorry load" of documents, photographs and videos.
The paperwork would have included surveillance logs, listening device records and informant contact sheets.
A statement from Scotland Yard appears to confirm that the shredding revealed in Mr Ellison's report was a lengthy process.
"The Met team who were gathering the material for Mr Ellison's work found a computer hard drive," the force said in a statement.
"As the officers were working to recover the content of that hard drive they were told that a number of documents were shredded over a two-day period in 2003."
The Met added: "There is ongoing work to find out exactly what happened."
Former officers and staff with experience of record keeping in the Met at the time have told the BBC the mass shredding was disturbing, bizarre and suspicious.
It has bolstered the possibility that the material was deleted because it contained information that implicated officers or damaged the force's reputation.
'Chaotic' record keeping
They also said it was highly unusual to destroy paper records of recent investigations - not just because of the value of the information but also because of the legal requirements to disclose documents to the defence, should anyone be prosecuted.
Theories that the files were shredded as part of a drive to free up storage space or comply with data protection rules are also thought to be unlikely.
However, the ex-officers could not rule out an innocent explanation for the shredding.
They said the force's record keeping was "chaotic" and it was possible copies of the documents existed, but had simply been mislaid.
In 2009 it emerged that the Met Police had lost the case file of a suspected rapist, Wendell Baker, which contained the victim's statement and details of supporting evidence.
Baker was eventually prosecuted - and convicted - but only after his solicitors were ordered by a court to hand over their copies of the file.