Woman who was engaged to undercover policeman sues Metropolitan Police for 'psychological torture'

The fresh claim is the latest in series by women duped into sexual relationships with undercover policemen to infiltrate political groups

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The Independent Online

A woman who became engaged to a married undercover policeman is suing the Metropolitan Police for “psychological torture”. 

The women, known only as Andrea, had a two-year relationship with the officer while he was spying on her friends - who were left-wing political activists, mostly in the Socialist Party. 

The officer, who used the cover name Carlo Neri, pretended to be a locksmith to ingratiate himself with Andrea’s left-wing friends and told her he wanted to marry and have children with her - despite having a wife and son living just 10 miles away. 

A joint investigation by BBC Newsnight and the Guardian has uncovered the police officer’s true identity, but they have decided not to publish it to protect his family. 

Andrea has called on the Met to apologise and give a “real and honest” explanation for the “abusive, cold-hearted, psychological torture” she had suffered from Neri’s deception. 

Although Andrea knew many friends who were campaigning against racism in the early part of the last decade she was not overly involved herself - she said she now seems to have been a “conduit” through which he was able to make contacts within the group.

She said they were “pretty much together, inseparably, for quite a while” and he moved in with her six weeks after they met at a Stop the War protest in London in 2002. 

He proposed to her on New Year’s Eve a few months later in front of her friends and they began to make plans for their wedding. Her parents even met and accepted him as their future “son-in-law”. 

Andrea and Neri first met at a Stop the War protest in 2002 (file photo)

“It felt utterly real, completely real”, she said. 

Afterwards Andrea said the wedding was called off after he appeared to suffer a complete mental breakdown after the “death of his father in Italy” and a revelation that the father had been sexually abusive to a female family member.

Now Andrea believes this was just a convenient excuse to go home to his real family. 

"Andrea" was in a relationship with Carlo Neri for nearly two years (BBC)

She said he was often absent from their home for four or five nights every fortnight - claiming this was due to work trips - and every other weekend he would go and visit a son “from a previous relationship” who was living in Cornwall. 

Andrea now believes the photographs of the boy he showed her are of his actual son.  

She said: "As far as I was concerned, I was going to spend my life with this man and his life was my life. Having that strong relationship with a child is a really important thing".

The new claims have come to light just months after the Met police apologised to eight women involved with environmental activism groups who had sexual relationships with undercover officers. 

The Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said the officers had entered into “long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong".

"I acknowledge that these relationships were a violation of the women's human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma".