Andy Coles accused of deceiving 19-year-old into relationship
A TORY police chief caved to pressure and resigned yesterday after his secret past as an undercover copper was revealed.
Cambridgeshire deputy police and crime commissioner Andy Coles has been accused of deceiving a 19-year-old woman into a relationship while infiltrating animal rights groups as a police officer in the early 1990s.
He retired from the police in 2012 and was elected a Tory member of Peterborough City Council in 2015.
He served as executive member for children on the city council before being appointed deputy police commissioner last year, and until yesterday he was also a governor at two Peterborough schools.
The woman Mr Coles deceived into a relationship, known only as “Jessica,” is now taking legal action against the police.
“Although not legally underage, I feel that my youth and vulnerability were used to target me,” she told the Guardian. “I was groomed by someone much older, and far more experienced, and I was manipulated into having a sexual relationship with him.
“I did not know how to react when he made advances towards me. I was embarrassed, awkward and what truly makes me feel sick now is that I did not want to hurt his feelings.”
Mr Coles used the cover name Andy Davey — though he was known as “Andy Van” due to his possession of a light goods vehicle, which he used to assist activists.
His real identity was discovered after pop star turned vicar and radio host Richard Coles referred to his brother having infiltrated “some sinister organisation while his wife and baby daughter made do with unpredictable visits” in a 2014 memoir.
Activists and researchers then established that Andy Coles and Andy Davey were in fact the same man.
Announcing his resignation yesterday, Mr Coles said “news reports” were “significantly impacting on my ability to carry out my duties as deputy police and crime commissioner.”
His boss, police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite, said the matter had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
But Dave Baigent, who sits on the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel, said he was “astounded” that the panel’s chair, Tory councillor Ben Shelton, had refused to take any action on the matter.
The Voyager Academy, where the ex-copper was chair of governors said it had “asked Mr Coles to step down … without prejudice while the IPCC investigation takes place.”
Mr Coles also served as a governor at West Town Primary Academy, which had not responded to a request for comment when the Star went to press last night.