Builder accused of axe murder walks free

all credits: This Is Croydon
published: 18th Nov 2010

A builder accused of the axe murder of a private eye 23 years ago walked free from court today (Thursday). James Cook, 55, was one of four men accused of killing 37-year-old Daniel Morgan on March 10, 1987. Mr Morgan, who co-ran the Southern Investigations agency in Thornton Heath, was found dead outside the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham with a hatchet embedded in his head.

Cook was due to stand trial alongside William Rees, 55, Garry Vian, 49, and his brother Glenn Vian, 51, following a long-running police investigation into the murder. At the Old Bailey, prosecutor Nicholas Hilliard QC announced that the Crown has decided to drop the case against Cook.

“It is our decision and it has been considered at the highest levels, that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.” The judge Mr Justice Maddison said: “I direct a verdict of not guilty. You are now free to go.”

Alastair Morgan, the brother of Daniel Morgan, was in court as Cook left the dock.

In February, Sidney Fillery, 63, a retired detective accused of tampering into the original investigation into the murder, walked free from court following legal argument.

The trial of Rees and the Vian brothers is currently scheduled to start in January next year. William Rees, 56, of Village Close, Weybridge, Surrey, Garry Vian, 49, of no fixed address, his brother Glenn, 51, of Orchard Road, South Croydon, are charged with murder.

James Cook, of The Glade, Kingswood, Tadworth, Surrey, was cleared of murder. Fillery, of The Street, Thurne, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was cleared of perverting the course of justice.

Other News:

Man cleared over 1987 axe murder
18th November 2010

Axe murder charge dropped
18th November 2010