Police spy denies threatening woman if she revealed his identity, inquiry told

An undercover police officer has denied he terrified a woman with a threat of violence to her family if she exposed his fake identity, a public inquiry has been told.

The police spy, who used the alias David Robertson, also denied accusations he manhandled the woman to keep her quiet at a public meeting.

Robertson gave evidence on Tuesday at the judge-led inquiry, which is looking at how about 139 undercover officers spied on より多い 1,000 political groups since 1968. The inquiry is examining covert operations between 1973 そして 1982.

Robertson spent three years infiltrating a series of small leftwing groups until his covert deployment was terminated abruptly in 1973 when he was recognised at the public meeting by the woman, who is known only as Ethel.

ついさっき, the inquiry was told by Diane Langford, an activist within one of the groups infiltrated by Robertson, それ Ethel had greeted him at the start of the public meeting. Robertson had then pulled her away forcefully by the wrist and she did not return to the meeting, Langford said.

She added that Ethel later told her that Robertson had given her a “nasty” threat that “something bad would happen to her family in Ireland” if she disclosed to activists that he was a police officer.

水曜日に, Robertson said this account was inaccurate. He said that when Ethel recognised him at the political meeting, she said “in a loud voice: ‘here are Scotland Yard [に] come to take us away’”.

“I did not grab Ethel by the wrist. I in fact gave Ethel a hug and whispered in her ear that I was going to leave and asked that she not tell anyone who I was," 彼は言った.

“I did not threaten Ethel. I would have had no opportunity to do this as I left the meeting and then never had any further contact with Ethel.” He said he had met Ethel previously when he was a uniformed police officer.

Robertson said his deployment ended the next day after he told his bosses about the incident. He said two senior police officers, Vic Gilbert and Roland Watts, suggested that if there were further questions about the incident, “I should say that I was acting completely ‘off my own bat’ and that my superior officers were unaware of what I was doing. I was livid that they refused to take responsibility.”

The inquiry has heard concerns that Scotland Yard’s long-running operation to monitor political groups was an overzealous intrusion into the political activities of mostly leftwing activists.

Robertson said many of the meetings of the groups he infiltrated “were very small, with only six or so members who turned up regularly” and were “generally not violent”.

He added that with the benefit of hindsight, he was not convinced that one of the groups he spied on, the Revolutionary Marxist Leninist League, “posed a threat of subversion or revolution … given how low the membership was but I suspect this may not have been appreciated at the time”.

The inquiry continues.