A METROPOLITAN Police chief apologised to the family of a Gwent-born private detective over "failings" in the investigation into his murder.

Daniel Morgan, 37, from Llanfrechfa, was found beside his car with an axe in his head outside the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, South London, on March 10, 1987.

At a meeting of Metropolitan Police Authority yesterday, acting commissioner Tim Godwin admitted there were "failings" by officers.

Roger Williams MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, who has been supporting Mr Morgan's family throughout the investigation as his mother Isobel Hulsmann lives in Hay-on-Wye, said: "I'm not surprised that the Met have issued an apology.

"Unfortunately, because the planned prosecution has not gone ahead, many of the failings of the police will not have been revealed and my own feeling is that the family will feel that the apology is inadequate and inappropriate and they may very well press for a full inquiry into the issue."

Mr Morgan's former business partner Jonathan Rees, 56, and brothers Garry, 50, and Glenn Vian, 52, were arrested on suspicion of murder, but the case collapsed before a jury was even sworn after lawyers for Mr Rees and the Vian brothers brought about a three-month hearing to review the police handling of 18 crates of material relating to potential witnesses.

It followed accusations over the lack of revelation to the defence of files in the case.

The defence said there was no credible evidence against the defendants and no DNA linking them to the crime.

This was the second time Mr Rees had been charged with murder. The previous prosecution was also aborted.

Police and lawyers apologised to Mr Morgan's family after the three men were cleared of murders, with Scotland Yard admitting the first inquiry was hampered by police corruption.

Speaking at the time the case collapsed, Mr Morgan's brother, Alastair, said the family was "devastated" by the news. The family has called for a public inquiry into the case.