Activist Who Was Deceived Into Sexual Relationship With A Spy Wins Case Against Police


Activist Who Was Deceived Into Sexual Relationship With A Spy Wins Case Against PoliceAlamy

An environmental activist who was duped into a sexual relationship with an undercover police officer had her human rights breached, judges at a tribunal have ruled.

Kate Wilson spent more than a year in a relationship with Mark Kennedy, who had spent several years infiltrating left-wing groups and met Wilson while he was posing as an environmental campaigner in 2003.


In 2010, she learned he was in fact a married police officer, leading her to pursue a decades-long campaign against the Metropolitan Police and National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) in an attempt to uncover the truth.

Kate Wilson (Alamy)Alamy

Today, September 30, judges with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled that she had suffered five human rights violations, and that failing to prevent undercover officers from engaging in sexual relationships with women was unlawful discrimination.

Wilson had argued that there was ‘widespread indifference, or express or tacit encouragement’ within the police for undercover officers to begin relationships with subjects, a claim that the Met and NPCC denied.


However, the BBC reports judges in the tribunal ruled that this denial was ‘materially undermined’ by the fact that Kennedy and other officers routinely engaged in relationships with women ‘without either questions being asked or action being taken by senior officers’.

‘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’ the judges said in their ruling, adding that the ‘fatally-flawed’ undercover operation ‘could not be justified as ‘necessary in a democratic society’ and revealed ‘disturbing and lamentable failings at the most fundamental levels’.

Campaigners protest spy cop abuse (Alamy)Alamy

In a statement, Wilson said:


The events in my case happened years ago, however the failure of the police to protect women from sexual predators within their own ranks, and police attempts to criminalise protesters, are both still very live issues today.

We need to tackle the misogyny and institutional sexism of the police, and there needs to be a fundamental rethink of the powers they are given for the policing of demonstrations and the surveillance of those who take part.

Though disturbing, Wilson’s case is not an isolated incident, with several other female activists having come forward with their own experiences of being deceived into sexual relationships with men they later discovered to be undercover police.

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Topics: News, Now, Police


  1. BBC

    Deceived activist Kate Wilson wins tribunal against Met Police

Hannah Smith
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