Daniel Morgan axe murder: Met to launch forensic review

Scotland Yard is to launch a forensic review in a last-ditch bid to crack the unsolved 1987 murder of private detective, Daniel Morgan.

A specialist team will re-examine some of the exhibits from the case in the hope of finally catching the killer or killers of the father of two.

The review, using the latest technology and DNA developments, will be similar to the one that helped bring the killers of Stephen Lawrence to justice in 2012 – almost 20 years after the black teenager was stabbed to death by a racist gang.

The decision to launch a forensic review comes after the publication of a damning report into the Met’s handling of the murder of Morgan, who was killed with an axe in a pub car park in south London in 1987.

The report, which took an independent panel eight years to produce, accused the Metropolitan Police of institutional corruption, and suggested the force had been more interested in protecting its own reputation than solving a brutal murder.

Sir Stephen House, the deputy commissioner, rejected those assertions and told the London assembly police and crime committee that the Met had not given up hope of solving the crime.

There have been five previous forensic reviews into the Morgan murder, the most recent of which took place almost a decade ago in 2012 and there have been significant scientific advances since then.

Sir Stephen said: "There is still a possibility of solving this murder however remote that may seem. Our work to achieve that will not stop no matter how much time passes."

He said allegiances changed over time and it was not unusual for people to confess to crimes that had happened decades earlier, adding: "It is never too late to do the right thing."

He went on: "We have also commissioned a new forensic review to look at a series of exhibits linked to this case. This is a process we conduct in all unsolved homicides periodically and is something we have considered in this case for sometime.

"We feel the conclusion of the panel report now marks the right time for this process to take place. 

"You will be well aware that in other cases advances in DNA and forensic technology has led to new and compelling evidence coming to light and it may be that this could happen in this case and we certainly hope it will."

Last week’s damning report recommended that the force take DNA from the relatives of a late police officer, identified only as Z31, to compare it with samples found on the handle of the axe used to murder Morgan.

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