A FORMER detective who spent four months in jail after he was accused of corruption in an inquiry into the murder of a Gwent private detective 30 years ago has won a substantial compensation payout.
But three other men who spent two years in jail before being acquitted of killing Daniel Morgan of Llanfrechfa, who was found in the car park of a south London pub with an axe in his head on March 10, 1987, had their claims thrown out.
The father-of-two, who was 37 when he died, had allegedly been investigating claims of corruption within the Metropolitan Police when he was killed.
Following his murder Sidney Fillery, now aged 70, was accused of trying to cover up his murder by threatening a witness and was charged with perverting the course of justice.
But the case collapsed in 2010 when the witness was shown to be unreliable.
Today, Friday, the High Court ordered the force to pay Mr Fillery £25,000 in damages up front after hearing the witness had been ‘coached’ in his evidence Detective Chief Inspector David Cook in his desperation to see the case solved.
And his barrister Nicholas Bowen said the full claim was for “many multiples of that”.
Speaking in court Mr Bowen said: “The only evidence against him was a thoroughly compromised, corrupt individual, who had been coached by a senior investigating officer.
“The way Mr Fillery has been treated in this case, as the focus of effectively police corruption, is an outrage.”
Mr Morgan’s business partner Jonathan Rees, now 62, and brothers Glenn, 58, and Garry Vian, 56, were also arrested alongside Mr Fillery in the aftermath of the murder.
But their case was not proceeded with and charges were only made in 2008 after further evidence came to light. But the case never reached court and three were released after spending two years in custody.
At the time High Court judge Mr Justice Maddison said DCS Cook, who refused to give evidence in the compensation battle, had probably prompted Eaton to implicate the Vian brothers in the killing.
Giving judgment Mr Justice Mitting said what Cook had done in relation to Eaton was tantamount to a crime in itself.
“By prompting a potentially unreliable witness to implicate Glenn and Garry Vian in the Morgan murder, then conceal the fact he had done so from the Crown Prosecution Service and prosecuting counsel, Cook did an act which tended to pervert the course of justice,” he said.
He added: “He contaminated the source of justice. He knew what he was doing and did it deliberately.”
But he added he believed DSC Cook’s motive had been only to secure the charges and convictions of those he believed were guilty.
Dismissing the compensation claim by the three men, Mr Mitting said there had been other evidence at the time which could have resulted in charges.
Following the verdict Mr Morgan’s brother Alastair, who has long campaigned for the truth around his murder to be revealed, said it would “a travesty of justice” if DCS Cook was used as “the scapegoat for the failures of the Metropolitan Police over the decades in failing to confront the police corruption that lay at the heart of this case.”
He added: “Like us, the public at large can see how the sickness of such police corruption has been allowed to fester and spread through the ranks, and that is the real mischief for which the Metropolitan Police must be held to account.”
Last year the UK Government formed an indepedent panel chaired by Baroness Nuala O’Loan to look into the circumstances surrounding Mr Morgan’s murder.