Northern Ireland's first police ombudsman, who investigated the handling of the 1998 Omagh bombing, has been appointed chair of the inquiry into the brutal Sydenham murder of private detective Daniel Morgan.

Baroness Nuala O'Loan, who scrutinised thousands of cases including police collusion with loyalist paramilitaries during her seven-year tenure, will head up the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel's investigation into the role of police corruption the failure to convict suspects in the 1987 axe killing.

Mr Morgan, who lived in South Norwood and ran a private investigation firm in Thornton Heath, was found dead in the car park of Sydenham's Golden Lion pub.

Five seperate police investigations failed to bring his killers to justice, with the most Crown Prosecution Service abandoning the attempted prosecution of five suspects in 2011.

Home Secretary Theresa May launched an inquiry last year after the Metropolitan Police admitted police corruption was a "debilitating factor" in initial investigation, following tireless campaigning by Mr Morgan's family.

Baroness O'Loan replaces Sir Stanley Burton, who resigned as panel chair in November citing "personal reasons".

Ms May said: "Serious allegations of police corruption have surrounded the investigations into the murder of Daniel Morgan.

"I have previously said that the Independent Panel should leave no stone unturned in pursuing the truth.

“Baroness O’Loan has a wealth of experience in dealing with serious and sensitive cases of alleged police misconduct and corruption."

Baroness O'Loan, who served as Northen Ireland's police watchdog from 2000 to 2007, said: "It is more than 27 years since Daniel Morgan was horrifically killed and his family have endured an agonising wait for the truth to be established. There is a great deal of work to be done.

"I will do everything in my power to ensure that the panel works effectively, engaging fully with all the members of Mr Morgan’s family, to produce a report which will shine a light on what happened to Mr Morgan, and how his case has been handled since 1987."