animal rights activists to appeal their convictions due to the involvement of an undercover police officer

by Tim Phillips

Two members of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) have decided to appeal their convictions for planting incendiary devices at department stores, because evidence suggests that former Special Demonstrations Squad officer Bob Lambert played a key role in the events that led to their convictions. Green Party politician Caroline Lucas has named Lambert, who infiltrated the ALF, as the undercover officer who allegedly planted a bomb at a third department store around the same time. According to today’s BBC article,

Andrew Clarke and Geoff Sheppard were convicted of planting incendiary devices at Debenhams stores in Romford and Luton in 1987. An undercover police officer allegedly planted a third device at a branch in Harrow to help convict the men. The officer has denied this and said he would not have committed such a crime.

While posing as an animal rights activist in the 1980s, Lambert also co-wrote a leaflet critical of McDonald’s that led to the longest civil trial in English history. During the four decades that the secret Special Demonstrations Squad existed, police officers infiltrated hundreds of protest groups. Like several other undercover officers in the UK between the mid-1980s and 2010, Lambert apparently deceived women into developing long-term sexual relationships with him.

Though already married with two children, Lambert fathered a child with one of the women before disappearing in 1989. The woman didn’t discover he was an undercover officer until 2012. She is now one of 11 women who are suing for the trauma they suffered after having intimate relationships with undercover officers.