Women ‘dismayed’ after CPS says there’s not enough evidence
WOMEN duped into sleeping with undercover cops posing as campaigners were left “dismayed” yesterday after prosecutors decided not to charge the men.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge four members of the Met’s now-disbanded Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) with sexual offences.
Solicitors representing the women suing the Met said they were angered by the decision.
One women, known as “Laura,” is considering challenging the CPS decision after providing a detailed statement about her relationship with one officer three years ago, the lawyers added.
Prosecutors considered statements from the women who say they were tricked into having long-term intimate relationships — some allegedly lasting as long as nine years — with undercover officers.
The CPS said it had considered whether there was sufficient evidence to allow charges of rape, indecent assault, procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by false pretences, misconduct in public office and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.
But following a “thorough investigation” it decided that there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any offences against any of the officers.”
London Assembly member Jenny Jones said the decision would deny justice to the victims.
“I find this decision by the CPS quite staggering and it will damage trust in both the CPS and the police,” said the Green AM.
“The CPS appears not to have looked at the use of sexual relationships as a systematic tactic used by a group of undercover officers during their deployment and that concerns me.
“We have heard time and again from senior officers that such relationships are completely unacceptable and yet today’s decision by the CPS means these officers have escaped being held to account.
“One of the victims of these officers said she felt as if she had been ‘raped by the state.’ Unfortunately today’s decision by the CPS means she, and the other victims of undercover police, will be denied justice. I hope the CPS will reconsider its decision and puts these cases before a jury.”
Members of the clandestine SDS unit, which was axed in 2008, have also faced claims of fathering children with women they spied on after infiltrating environmental campaign groups.
Two of the men were confirmed in court to be Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert, while John Dines, Mark Cassidy and Mark Kennedy have also previously been named as their colleagues.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said the Met is now considering if misconduct proceedings are appropriate.
A civil suit brought by eight women continues in the High Court.