Home Secretary Theresa May has today announced an independent inquiry into the notorious unsolved murder of a Thornton Heath private detective. 

A judge-led panel is to scrutinise failed police investigations into the death of 37-year-old Daniel Morgan, who was brutally killed with an axe in a Sydenham pub car park in March 1987. 

The Metropolitan Police has said there is no prospect of solving the crime, despite five seperate investigations in 15 years, and admitted corruption at the force had been a “debilitating factor” in the failure to bring justice. 

Five suspects were charged with the murder in 2009, but the case collapsed two years later. 

The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel, which will adopt a similar approach to an inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster, will look at how police corruption and journalists at the News of the World hampered the investigation into Mr Morgan's murder.

The panel will be chaired by Sir Stanley Burnton, a retired Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal. Other panel members will be appointed in the next few weeks. 

The inquiry was announced after the Home Secretary met with members of Mr Morgan's family, who have waged a relentless campaign for justice.

Ms May promised the family would be placed "at the centre" of the investigation.

She said: "There is a serious and considerable public interest in having an independent panel look at this case, as part of the Government’s commitment to identifying, exposing and addressing corruption."

The panel is expected to complete its inquiry within a year of all relevant documentation being made available. 

It will ensure "maximum possible disclosure" of all relevant material held by the Government, police and Crown Prosecution Service.