Morgan Murder Detective Turns On Met Commissioner
The senior detective in charge of the Daniel Morgan murder has gone rogue and accused the Metropolitan police commissioner of covering up corruption, The Upsetter can reveal.
Retired detective chief superintendent David Cook has made a formal complaint that Dame Cressida Dick is part of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in the Morgan case, the most notorious and unsolved murder in the Met.
The bombshell comes just ten days before the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel publishes the findings of its eight year probe into five police investigations following the axe murder of the private detective in 1987.
The Met’s anti-corruption squad played a significant but secret role in the last three of those murder investigations since 1994.
Cook led the fifth inquiry which started in 2006 and collapsed five years later because of problems with the truthfulness of supergrass witnesses and massive non-disclosure to the defence of secret police files.
Cook denies coaching the evidence of two supergrasses and believes he has been made a “scapegoat” for wider police corruption and mismanagement that eventually led to the acquittal of four men for the murder in March 2011.
Cook first complained in May 2020 that the Met had misled a high court judge hearing a damages claim for malicious prosecution brought by three of the men acquitted – Jonathan Rees and his brothers-in-law Glenn and Garry Vian.
He said the Met kept him under investigation from 2012 until April 2020 purely to “silence” him while it dishonestly fought the damages claim. In the end, the three men were awarded £414,000 in punitive damages.
Cook suggests that had the high court known the truth about what was really going on inside the Met, Rees and the Vians would have been entitled to greater compensation.
“The criminal investigation into me was a) biased, b) malicious, c) without proper foundation and d) conducted in order to facilitate the MPS having control over any evidence I would give at the civil action in order to protect the reputation of the MPS.”
Wendy Chamberlian MP, the chief whip for the Liberal Democrats, wrote to Dick last November on Cook’s behalf.
The Commissioner passed the letter to Peter Holdcroft, the head of the anti-corruption squad, who in January 2021 replied to the MP for North East Fife that these were “exceptionally complex matters that will take time.”
The delay further infuriated Cook who finally cut ties with the Met when in late March he made a formal complaint against Holdcroft and Dick.
The Commissioner this morning vigorously bigged-up Holdcroft’s anti-corruption squad when asked on LBC Radio about the TV drama Line of Duty.
“It’s a great drama and the Met has its own Kates and Steves and Hastings. I’m not Hastings, we have them though, we have those people and I’m very proud of the work that we do … We have in the Met a fantastic anticorruption command … we’re really serious about this work,” she told listeners.
Axe To Grind
However, the complaint from an insider such as Cook tells a different story about a squad officially known as the Directorate of Professional Standards and informally as the Untouchables.
Cook’s complaint said:
“This is formal allegation of crime relating to individual employees of the Metropolitan Police Service, including the Commissioner Cressida Dick. It is my firm belief that they have perverted the course of justice in relation to their failure to investigate the original allegation of crime I submitted to the [police watchdog] on the 18th May 2020 and which was forwarded to the MPS on the 4th June 2020.
I have included the Commissioner of Police within those named in this allegation given the letter sent to her in November 2020 by my constituent MP. Her delegation of the letter to the Department of Professional Standards gives a clear indication of her involvement in the events but without further investigation it is impossible to determine her, or any other person named or yet to be identified, involvement in a criminal conspiracy.
It is my firm belief that the Metropolitan Police are putting their own interests ahead of the interests of justice by deliberately delaying an investigation into my allegation that they perverted the course of justice in 2016 and 2017 during the trial at the High Court in front of Lord Justice Mitting and then later in 2018 during the appeal court hearing.
The Department of Professional Standards is itself compromised by virtue of a failure to investigate the allegations made in 2017 and now in 2020. The rank of those officers I have complained about tends to suggest senior officers within the Metropolitan Police are compromised and incapable of conducting or overseeing an independent investigation without fear or favour.”
Cook has a large axe to grind over his perceived mistreatment while in charge of the Morgan case from 2002 until July 2011, when he went sick after the trial collapsed, never to return to active duty.
The murder trial judge was critical of his dealings with Gary Eaton, a manipulative criminal with mental health problems with whom Cook had many undocumented calls before the supergrass made a witness statement.
Convinced of the guilt of Rees and others, Cook breached the ‘sterile corridor’, which is supposed to exist between those detectives debriefing supergrass witnesses and those leading the murder hunt in order to prevent claims of coaching, coercion and fit up.
Eaton’s evidence was thrown out after an examination of his unrecorded dealings with Cook and lies the supergrass had told including that he was there on the night of the murder.
Cook said in his complaint:
“I have never denied there were organisational failings in relation to the handling of the witness Gary Eaton but I categorically deny that any failings, which I personally have been accused of, were of a criminal nature. The failings arose as a direct consequence of the MPS’s neglect in properly resourcing aspects of the investigation and to provide appropriate support and management for the team working on the Abelard 2 investigation.
I accept that Eaton’s contact with me during the debrief contributed towards his dismissal as a witness and in hindsight I wish I had done things differently in particular in relation to my contact with Eaton.”
The judicial criticism in 2011 and a complaint by Rees two years later forced the Met to belatedly investigate Cook’s relationship with Eaton.
Despite the findings of six senior judges that the senior detective had perverted the course of justice, the internal probe cleared Cook in April 2020 and in so doing the Met cleared itself.
The Crown Prosecution Service, whose own murky role deserves independent scrutiny, backed the Met by claiming it was ‘not in the public interest’ to prosecute Cook.
He repaid the favour by immediately accusing the Met of perverting the course of justice in its treatment of him and covering up similar allegations against other detectives involved in the debriefing of supergrasses.
Lawyers instructed by Cook responded to Rees on 23 March asking for more information. The response also made a point of mentioning Cook’s on-going complaint against the Met.
“You should be aware that our client has made a number of complaints against the MPS, some of which are allegations of a criminal nature. Our client’s criminal allegations call into question the reliability of the evidence presented by the MPS during the civil proceedings concerning your client and others. These matters remain outstanding.”
Two days later, on 25 March, Cook upped the ante and made a further complaint against Cressida Dick – a move that finally breaks all ties with the police ‘family’ he once thought would come to his rescue but now feels has thrown him under the bus.
Cook has refused repeated requests to be interviewed. His new complaint accuses Dick’s anti-corruption squad of deliberately dragging its feet in these stark terms:
“This delay is I believe an effort to prevent damaging disclosure to the Court of Appeal in the case of Rees which would discredit the approach taken by the Metropolitan Police in their civil action defence during 2016/7 and the Court of Appeal hearing in 2018.”
Rees is sitting back watching these developments with delight. He said:
“I think it’s absolutely marvellous that Mr Cook is finally exposing his former bosses for duplicitous conduct in spoiling our campaign to get compensated for years of misery. Protecting the Met’s image is what this has been all about for the last 30 years.”
Rees lost an attempt earlier this year to increase his £155,000 damages award. The Court of Appeal also rejected a cross claim by the Met to have the award reduced.
Rees told The Upsetter he can now go back to the Appeal Court this time with Cook’s allegations that the Met persistently misled judges.
And so it goes.