Woman deceived into relationship with spycop Neri talks
by Conrad Landin
at Greenwich University
A WOMAN deceived into a two-year relationship with an undercover police officer believes she was targeted so that her partner “could infiltrate the trade unions,” she said yesterday.
The Star revealed yesterday that an officer using the cover name Carlo Neri had suggested to two anti-fascist activists that they firebomb a charity shop.
Mr Neri, who was undercover from 2001 to 2006, is believed to still serve as a police officer.
It is thought he was deployed by the Met to infiltrate left-wing groups, anti-fascist organisations and trade union campaigns.
His former partner Andrea, who uses an alias to protect her identity, spoke in public for the first time at a conference on blacklisting and undercover policing yesterday.
Mr Neri came across as a “lovely, lovely man” who was “trusting, trustworthy” and “cooked beautiful food,” she said.
He left her after appearing to have a breakdown, speaking of the death of his father and a family history of physical and sexual abuse.
Some years later, Andrea read in Rob Evans and Paul Lewis’s book Undercover about the experience of other women deceived into relationships.
She said the “hairs stood up on the back of my neck” as she recognised patterns of behaviour deployed by undercover officers, such as repeated absences, secrecy about their family and emotional manipulation.
With the help of campaigners and journalists, she was able to confirm that Mr Neri was an undercover officer.
Activists have not disclosed his real surname because, as it is so distinctive, this would affect members of his family.
“I don’t know why I was targeted,” Andrea told the conference. “I think I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. “I suspect I offered a cover so this man could infiltrate trade unions.”
She said his positioning and friendships meant he could have targeted a raft of different unions, including the GMB, which he claimed to be a member of as a locksmith, her own Transport and General Workers Union and transport union RMT.
Helen Steel, who was deceived into a relationship with another officer, John Dines, said Andrea’s story “brought back many of the things I heard from John.”
She told the conference that the use of relationships to beef up officers’ cover displayed a “pattern of institutional sexism.”
Ms Steel added: “I’m quite certain more women are going to discover they were deceived into undercover relationships.”