Activist tricked into relationship with undercover office wins tribunal case

todayOctober 27, 2021

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It is no easy matter to be tricked during a relationship, however to be in a position where you have been tricked into a relationship by a police officer acting as a spy is bordering on a violation of human rights.

This is exactly what a tribunal case against the Metropolitan police found.

In 2003, Kate Wilson began dating Mark Stone shortly after meeting him and enjoyed what can only be called a ‘whirlwind romance’ for over a year before they mutually agreed to part ways in 2005 when she moved to Spain.

However, in 2010, Ms Wilson found out that this man was in fact a married police officer called Mark Kennedy who was a part of the Met’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

Upon learning this, she immediately brought legal action against the police force and the National Police Chiefs Council to fight for the breaches of her right to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, her right to privacy and right to freedom of expression.

While the Met and NPCC accepted that Kennedy’s actions amounted to a breach of her rights, they denied knowing that there had been a sexual relationship that had developed.

However, in a ruling on Thursday, the IPT found the Met’s claims that undercover officers (UCOs) knew sexual relationships were banned were “materially undermined by the sheer frequency with which [Kennedy] (and other UCOs) did conduct sexual relationships without either questions being asked or action being taken by senior officers”.

The tribunal said: “We are driven to the conclusion that either senior officers were quite extraordinarily naive, totally unquestioning or chose to turn a blind eye to conduct which was, certainly in the case of [Kennedy], useful to the operation.”

It was also found that Kennedy had sexual relationships with as many as 10 other women during this deployment.

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