Daniel Morgan murder: a timeline of key events

The Guardian
The Guardian
Daniel Morgan Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

No one has been convicted over the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan in 1987, despite five police investigations.

The Metropolitan police have previously admitted the initial inquiry into the unsolved case was blighted by police corruption.

Here is a timeline of key dates:

10 March 1987

Morgan is found murdered with an axe in his head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south-east London.

April 1988

An inquest into his death records a verdict of unlawful killing.

June 1988

Hampshire police begin investigating the murder and the Met’s handling of the case.

February 1989

Morgan’s business partner Jonathan Rees and his associate Paul Goodridge are charged with murder and Goodridge’s girlfriend Jean Wisden is charged with perverting the course of justice.

May 1989

The case is dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. Goodridge later sues Hampshire constabulary.


A new investigation is opened into Morgan’s death, but ends when separate crimes are uncovered. In September 1999, Rees is charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over a plot to plant cocaine on a woman involved in a custody dispute, and later jailed for six years, raised to seven years on appeal.

Late 2000

A formal review is carried out of the case, which leads to another investigation opening the following year. It is closed in March 2003 with no charges brought.

February 2004

Morgan’s family call on the government to open a public inquiry into the case, but it is refused.

April 2008

Five people are arrested and charged in connection with the case. Jonathan Rees, his brothers-in-law Glenn and Garry Vian, and an associate, James Cook, were charged with Morgan’s murder, while former police officer Sid Fillery was charged with perverting the course of justice.

March 2011

The prosecution collapses after police failings relating to disclosure of evidence and handling of informants. In the wake of the collapse, Det Ch Supt Hamish Campbell and acting commissioner Tim Godwin both acknowledge that corruption hampered the early investigations into Morgan’s death.


Then-home secretary, Theresa May, announces that an independent panel will be set up to examine the case.

July 2019

Rees and the Vian brothers are each awarded six-figure sums in damages after successfully suing the Met for malicious prosecution. A high court judge rules that Rees and Glenn Vian should each receive £155,000, and Garry Vian should get £104,000.

18 May 2021

The independent panel is due to publish its report, but suffers delays due to the Home Office initially claiming no parliamentary time can be found to make publication possible, and then insisting it wishes to review the document and make redactions as it deems necessary on national security or human rights grounds.

28 May

An agreement is reached that a small team of Home Office officials will be allowed to read the report before its publication on 15 June, with any redactions marked in footnotes. Morgan’s family will also be allowed to read the full report.

8 June

The Home Office confirms that the full, unredacted report will be published on 15 June.

15 June

The report of the independent panel inquiry into Morgan’s killing heavily criticises the Met, and then-commissioner, Cressida Dick, for obstructing its access to documents.

13 December

Morgan family announce they will sue the Met

3 August 2022

The Independent Office for Police Conduct announce that no officer past or present will face any new action, be it criminal or disciplinary. It spent 14 months considering the panel’s findings. It says former Met commissioner Cressida Dick may have broken the rules but no action will be taken.

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