Woman at centre of allegations against former spy cop and current Peterborough City Councillor hits out at police investigations

The woman at the centre of allegations against a former spy cop who is now a Peterborough councillor has hit out into the police investigations into his conduct.

The woman known as “Jessica” was responding to a statement issued by Andy Coles to the Peterborough Telegraph after his role infiltrating animal liberation groups was confirmed by the Undercover Policing Inquiry, which is investigating undercover police operations.

The inquiry, which is led by the retired judge Sir John Mitting, said Andy Coles had used the cover name Andy Davey while infiltrating animal rights groups in the early 1990s.   Picture by Terry Harris. THA

The inquiry, which is led by the retired judge Sir John Mitting, said Andy Coles had used the cover name Andy Davey while infiltrating animal rights groups in the early 1990s. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

A Channel 4 investigation last May featured claims Mr Coles had a relationship with Jessica, a young activist, while working as an undercover officer.

The inquiry is now asking people who came into contact with Mr Coles when he was under the cover name of Andy Davey to come forward.

Mr Coles, Conservative member for Fletton and Woodston on Peterborough City Council, issued a statement to the PT on Monday which he said he could only now make because he had been named by the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

The statement not only confirmed his spy past but also reflected on the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Met Police’s earlier decisions that there were no charges for him to answer.

Protests against Andy Coles outside Peterborough Town Hall

Protests against Andy Coles outside Peterborough Town Hall

He said: “I am pleased at last to be able to confirm that in my past I was deployed as an undercover police officer to infiltrate some of the most committed and violent animal liberation extremists operating in the UK in the early 1990s.

“I am also pleased to confirm that both the IPCC and the Metropolitan Police have investigated the lurid claims made by a woman using the pseudonym “Jessica” and have told me I face no charges or any further investigation into her allegations, which I am now able to deny publicly.”

Responding to Mr Coles, solicitors representing Jessica said: “It is quite incorrect and misleading for Mr Coles to assert that ‘the IPCC and Metropolitan Police have investigated the lurid claims made by this woman’. They have not done so.

“No one has spoken to or obtained a statement from Jessica for the purposes of any investigation, therefore no proper investigation has been undertaken.

“Jessica will now make a formal complaint of criminal conduct against Andy Coles to Operation Herne and provide evidence that will undermine his denials.”

Operation Herne is the Met’s investigation into the activities of undercover officers.

Mr Coles said: “ The allegation the ALF activist known as “Jessica” makes that I had a sexual relationship with her for over a year while undercover are completely untrue. Both the IPCC and Operation Hearne have investigated the specific allegations and chosen not to take any action. As I have said, the proper place for this is in the Undercover Policing Inquiry”.

The PT contacted city council leader Cllr John Holdich after Mr Coles was named by the inquiry and released his statement to the PT.

Cllr Holdich said: “I have always believed you’re innocent until proven guilty. Therefore I have always supported Andy.

“It seems to me he has been exonerated.”

Mr Coles was previously the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire but resigned when the allegations against him first surfaced.

At the time he said the coverage was “significantly impacting” on his ability to carry out the role.