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Two Judicial Reviews Lodged Against The Undercover Policing Inquiry

Nicola Driscoll-Davies photo
Nicola Driscoll-DaviesUK
Two Judicial Reviews Lodged Against The Undercover Policing Inquiry
Victims of the Undercover Policing Inquiry launch second legal action. Pictured above is Spycop "Carlo Neri"

Three non-state non-police core participants of the undercover policing inquiry who had their private lives infiltrated have this week issued proceedings for a second judicial review.

Lawyers representing the core participants confirmed they have lodged two judicial review actions against the Home Secretary and Justice Mitting.

The legal challenges mounted by core participants include Jessica, who was groomed into a one-year sexual relationship in 1992 with the current conservative councillor of Peterborough, Andy Coles.

The animal rights protestor known as Andy Davey denies this, however Jessica has been made a core participant by the inquiry, and he resigned his role as deputy police crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough last year when exposed as an undercover officer.

The second person is Patricia Armani da Silva, the cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes who was shot dead by police in 2005 after wrongly being deemed a terror suspect. Police confirmed the family was infiltrated and intelligence gathered on their justice campaign.

The third person involved in the legal challenge is John Burke-Monerville, the father of Trevor, who died in police custody in 1987, after the family say he was allegedly beaten by the police and as a consequence died from brain injuries.

From thereafter the family say they were targeted by police and the campaign to seek justice for their son’s death was confirmed to have been infiltrated.

The first application for a judicial review is addressed to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid in relation to the refusal to appoint a diverse panel to sit with the Chairman to provide the inquiry with diverse expert understanding of institutional sexism, institutional racism and class discrimination within the undercover police units.

Justice Mitting has allowed police lawyers to delay the inquiry for five years, while providing the inquiry with old fashioned and naive views including comments in regard to married officers who had affairs with women while undercover, he said:

“We have had examples of undercover male officers who have gone through more than one long-term permanent relationship, sometimes simultaneously.

“There are officers who have reached a ripe old age who are still married to the same woman that they were married to as a very young man.

“The experience of life tells one that the latter person is less likely to have engaged in extramarital affairs than the former.”

The second action is directed at Justice Mitting and challenges his on-going approach of granting anonymity restriction orders for undercover names at almost every opportunity.

Birnberg Peirce solicitors representing the claimants state a third of the SDS undercover officers have so far been granted restriction orders, which is incompatible with the aims of the public inquiry.

Disclosure of the cover names of spycops is critical to ensure the inquiry can receive evidence from non-state individuals who were spied upon.

Police lawyers are possibly preventing the participation of those spied upon by requesting anonymity orders and frustrating the purpose of the public inquiry to prevent the inquiry from getting to the truth.

Restrictions mean those who were infiltrated do not yet know they were in fact spied upon and over 1000 groups have been spied on since 1968, then the number of victims could be in the thousands.

The trio are appealing for public donations to fund their legal challenge online via Crowdjustice:

Theresa May, then Home Secretary ordered a public inquiry in 2014 into undercover policing, labelling the extraordinary secret forty-year history and five-year infiltrations by police spies:

“Profoundly shocking and disturbing with the dangers of the past infecting the present, with the full truth yet to emerge.”

Three years into the inquiry it has cost over twelve million pounds, and is expected to conclude in 2023, has zero credibility or confidence from the public and victims.

In legal proceedings solicitors for the participants said the position of the Chairman was unlawful and thus untenable because of the approach he has adopted in regard to restriction orders which impede module one of the inquiries task, to investigate the conduct of undercover officers and the impact that their activities had on others.

Last week Justice Mitting, a judge known in closed circles for his victorian outlook made another irrational statement when he called into question the “humanity” of the victims.

Justice Mitting said despite a restriction order made, the real name of infiltrator Carlo Neri is known to some activists and journalists and called into question the characters of the victims who were infiltrated personally by Carlo - stating that reporting his real name:

“Will depend upon the judgement and humanity of those who already know it.”

Andrea was engaged to the undercover officer Carlo who was paid to infiltrate her life for two years. Andrea said:

“The remark from Mitting was grossly offensive and another example of institutional sexism.

“It is almost emotional blackmail as basically what he is saying is if the victims of Carlo Neri choose to release his name, he’s calling into question our humanity.”

Andrea was not pleased with the comments from Justice Mitting, and concluded: 

“Mitting is showing a complete disregard for people who have experienced ongoing trauma as a result of the actions of Carlo Neri, and his complete lack of respect is demeaning.”

Justice Mitting is suggesting that the women who are psychologically traumatised from their one-sided deceptive state sponsored relationships, are in essence to be held responsible if the real names of those whom infiltrated every aspect of their private lives are reported upon - after he has failed to do so in an accountable public inquiry.

Permission for a full judicial review looks promising as the restrictions impede the aims of the inquiry, and the scope of undercover policing cannot be analysed without the cover names being released and evidence duly received from the people affected.

A public inquiry which grants almost blanket anonymity to the cover names of spycops does not provide public confidence and ensures the victims and public are no closer to the truth of undercover policing.

#Undercover Policing Inquiry