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Legal challenge against alleged miscarriage of justice by undercover police

Statement from Peter Francis following challenge by media outlets to reveal alleged miscarriage of justice against John Jordan

25 September 2014

Following a legal challenge by the Guardian, BBC and Press Association, Prosecutors have today been forced to admit that a covert operation by the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) caused a miscarriage of justice.

John Jordan, an environmental campaigner might not have been prosecuted if it had been revealed at the time that his co-defendant was an undercover policeman and member of the SDS using a fake identity.

Speaking after today's judgement, former SDS officer Peter Francis said:

"As I have previously stated in the media, I personally knew Jim Boyling aka Jim Sutton whilst I was deployed undercover on the SDS.

"Also as in the cases of the Drax coal and Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station protesters, where the convictions were also overturned, it is only because of the sheer tenacity and investigative skills of the activists and their solicitors that this further miscarriage of justice has now been exposed.

"Their efforts are in stark contrast to the so called 'independent' inquiry being undertaken by Operation Herne, which has so far proved ineffective and appears to be a damage limitation and containment exercise, rather than a proper investigation into past wrongs.

"These miscarriages of justice were conducted because of the actions of my former colleagues in the SDS and also officers in the NPOIU and their superiors. I hope that the second inquiry being undertaken by Mr Ellison QC will prove far more robust and transparent in its investigation and findings.

"I have offered to assist this inquiry, as I did into the role of undercover officers in the Stephen Lawrence family and campaign. To date, I have not been contacted by the inquiry."

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