The Monmouthshire family of murdered private detective Daniel Morgan have reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the Met Police, 36 years after he was killed with an axe in the car park of a London pub.
Mr Morgan, a former student at Gwent College in Usk, is thought by his family to have been investigating police corruption at the time of the 1987 killing in Sydenham.
No-one has been convicted over the murder, which has led to five inquiries costing some £40m.
And the Metropolitan Police has now admitted liability for its errors and corruption and has confirmed it is paying damages, reported in the national media to be in the region of £2m.
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley apologised and admitted liability, saying the case had been “marred by a cycle of corruption, professional incompetence and defensiveness that has repeated itself over and over again”.
Mr Morgan’s family had been “repeatedly and inexcusably let down” by the force, and were given “empty promises and false hope” through the five investigations while the force “prioritised its reputation at the expense of transparency and effectiveness”.
His statement added: “No words can do justice to the pain and suffering that has been a feature of the family’s lives for more than three decades, as they have fought for justice.
“Their tenacious campaigning has exposed multiple and systemic failings in this organisation.
“I have met with the family and listened to vivid and moving accounts of the devastating impact those failings have had on their lives.
“They have explained how their trust in policing has been eroded. The personal commitment I made to tackling corruption in this organisation when I took over as commissioner has never been stronger.”
The family’s lawyer Raju Bhatt said the nine commissioners in office since the murder had come to represent “consistent failure of courage and integrity”.
He added: “A perceived need to protect the organisation from reputational damage has served only to nurture and encourage a culture of impunity.
“Whether or how Sir Mark and his senior leadership choose to face up to that sickness and translate the words of his apology into reality is his challenge.
“What the Met owes this family is a bit of gratitude for exposing a culture of impunity.”
The family and the police said the “mutually satisfactory” terms of the agreement would remain confidential.
An independent panel found in 2021 that the Met had repeatedly covered up its failings to protect its reputation and was “institutionally corrupt”.
The private detective was found dead with an axe in his head in the car park of Sydenham’s Golden Lion on March 10, 1987.
Before leaving the pub, he had been drinking with Southern Investigations business partner Jonathan Rees, who was later twice charged with his murder alongside others, only for the cases to collapse.
Mr Morgan, who studied farming at Usk College and worked in agriculture until a change of career saw him move to London, was allegedly about to expose links between corrupt police and organised criminals.
He had also told friends that a Sunday newspaper had offered him £250,000 for an expose on how he obtained his information.
Another theory was that police who were selling information and moonlighting as security guards feared he was about to expose them.
And it was also revealed that the day before his murder Mr Morgan had served a court summons on a man with previous convictions for violence.
The family responded to the 2021 report by saying: “At almost every step, we found ourselves lied to, fobbed off, bullied, degraded and let down, time and time again.”