Gone native. Is PC Mark Kennedy Britain's Patty Hearst?

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sun Jan 16 00:50:57 GMT 2011

Film of Patty Hearst's 1974 adventure is here - 
Symbionese Liberation Army (S.L.A.), and their 
constant, paramilitary audio messages dominated 
headlines globally. Using a treasure trove of 
archival footage, audio material and an exclusive 
interview with S.L.A. founder Russ Little, the 
film follows the bizarre saga from the 
establishment of the S.L.A., through the 
kidnapping, Hearst's conversion to her captors' 
cause, and the bank robberies  and shootouts that followed.
Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst

Hatchet job on our founding father George Monbiot 
from James Delingpole at the Sark tyrants (Barclay Twins') Telegraph.
I trust George will put him straight.
But the big news of the week, discussed here www.thisweek.org.uk
for now

Climategate: George Monbiot, the Guardian and Big Oil

I am fear for my life: Undercover policeman tells 
amazing story of eight years with eco-warriors

By Caroline Graham - Daily Mail 15th January 2011

Unmasked as spy by beautiful Welsh redhead girlfriend
Savagely beaten by five of his own police colleagues
Intelligence he gathered sent directly to PM Tony Blair

The undercover policeman who posed as an 
eco-warrior for eight years came out of hiding to 
tell his full, extraordinary story – and reveal that he fears for his life.

Mark Kennedy, 41, denies ‘going native’ and 
triggering the collapse of the trial of six 
environmental activists accused of trying to shut 
down one of Britain’s biggest power stations.

Describing a life lived ‘constantly on the edge’, 
he claims his former police bosses are searching 
for him in America, where he fled last year.

He has received death threats from activists and sleeps in a barricaded room.

‘I am in fear for my life and don’t know where to 
turn,’ he says. Mr Kennedy refutes suggestions 
that he crossed the line, became an agent 
provocateur and played a central role in 
organising the very protests police wanted him to sabotage.

‘My superiors knew where I was at all times – my 
BlackBerry was fitted with a tracking device – 
and they sanctioned every move I made. I didn’t 
sneeze without them knowing about it. I feel I’ve been hung out to dry.’

Speaking from a safe house, the former police 
officer tells how he led an astonishing double 
life as committed green anarchist Mark Stone 
before being ultimately let down by his handlers.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday he reveals that:
He was unmasked as a spy after his beautiful 
redhead girlfriend of five years found his real passport.
Five policemen unaware of his undercover role 
savagely beat him up at a protest.
Intelligence he gathered was passed directly to 
Tony Blair, then Prime Minister.
Campaigners subjected him to a terrifying 
kangaroo court ordeal when his cover was blown.
He was ‘incompetently’ handled by officers and 
was denied psychological counselling.

Mr Kennedy is estranged from his wife, with whom 
he has two children, a boy of 12 and a ten-year-old girl.

‘My son has been crying and says he never wants to see me again,’ he says.

'A living nightmare': Mark Kennedy says both 
police and eco-activists are out to get him

The officer was recruited in 2002 by the Met’s 
National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

After his exposure last week, the secretive unit 
faced accusations that it ran ‘undemocratic’ 
operations. It has been urged to reveal the 
extent of its covert surveillance of peaceful protesters.

Mr Kennedy says he knows of at least 15 other 
officers who infiltrated the ranks of green 
campaigners in the past decade and of four who remain undercover.

He infiltrated and became a key member of the 
hardline group behind the alleged plot to shut 
down the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire in 2009.

When defence barristers submitted a disclosure 
request asking for information about his 
involvement, the prosecution apparently opted to 
abandon the case rather than have ‘murky’ 
evidence about the police’s involvement heard in public.

But Mr Kennedy says the case was doomed to fail 
anyway because covert recordings he supplied 
police proved undeniably that the six men facing 
trial last week for conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass were innocent.

Police withheld the recordings which, it was 
claimed yesterday, was the real reason the case collapsed.

Mr Kennedy’s case is now the subject of an 
investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

I’ve always respected the police. But the world 
of undercover policing is grey and murky. There 
is some bad stuff going on. Really bad stuff...

I've always respected the police. But the world 
of undercover policing is grey and murky. There 
is some bad stuff going on. Really bad stuff...


In an astonishing and revealing interview, Mark 
Kennedy today presents a very different image of 
the murky world of undercover policing to the one 
splashed across the media all week.

As Mark Stone, a long-haired drop-out 
mountaineer, nicknamed ‘Flash’ because of his 
access to ready cash, he attended scores of 
environmental protests in the UK and Europe.

But the man who sits before me is unrecognisable. 
His once lanky hair has been shorn into a neat 
short-back-and-sides. His grungy eco-warrior 
outfit of torn jeans and grubby T-shirt has been 
replaced by neatly pressed trousers, starched 
shirt and designer sweater. His full arm tattoos 
are covered by long sleeves. The only reminders 
of his former life are the piercings in his ears.

Hurt: Showing the injuries caused by uniformed 
officers at the 2006 Drax protest

He is on the run, he says, from both his former 
police bosses and from activists who have made 
death threats against him. But he has also been 
swamped with offers for book and movie rights to his life story.

Speaking for the first time about what he calls ‘my living nightmare’, he says:

‘I can’t sleep. I have lost weight and am 
constantly on edge. I barricade the door with 
chairs at night. I am in genuine fear for my 
life. I have been told that my former bosses from 
the force are out here in America looking for me. 
I have been told by activists to watch my back as people are out to get me.

‘I have chosen to speak out because I want my 
story out there. People like to think of things 
in terms of black and white. But the world of 
undercover policing is grey and murky. There is 
some bad stuff going on. Really bad stuff.’

He says he is ‘horrified’ by accusations that he 
‘crossed the line’, goading activists into 
actions they would not normally have considered.

‘I had a cover officer whom I spoke to numerous times a day,’ he says.

‘He was the first person I spoke to in the 
morning and the last person I spoke to at night. 
I didn’t sneeze without a superior officer 
knowing about it. My BlackBerry had a tracking 
device. My cover officer joked that he knew when I went to the loo.’

He is also furious at what he calls a ‘smear 
campaign’ that he bedded a string of vulnerable women to extract information.

He said angrily: ‘I had two relationships while I 
was undercover, one of which was serious. I am 
the first one to hold up my hands and say, yes, that was wrong.

‘I crossed the line. I fell deeply in love with 
the second woman. I was embedded into a group of 
people for nearly a decade. They became my 
friends. They supported me and they loved me. All 
I can do now is tell the truth. I don’t think the 
police are the good guys and the activists are 
bad or vice versa. Both sides did good things and 
bad things. I am speaking out as I hope the 
police can learn from the mistakes they made.

‘I was at the heart of a very sensitive 
operation. I was told my work was the benchmark 
for other undercover officers. My superior 
officer told me on more than one occasion, 
particularly during the G8 protests in Scotland 
in 2005, that information I was providing was 
going directly to Tony Blair’s desk.’

'I loved this lady, I really did. Then she found 
my other passport, with my real name in it': 
Undercover policeman reveals how his cover was blown

He admits he has had ‘a total transformation’ since his undercover days.

‘I am physically and mentally exhausted,’ he 
says. ‘I have had some dark thoughts. I thought I could end this very quickly.

‘I went to see a psychiatrist recently and told 
her I was having thoughts of suicide. I don’t 
have any confidence. My world has been destroyed. 
I don’t have any friends, they were all in the activist movement.’

Kennedy was born and raised in Orpington, Kent, 
the eldest son of traffic police officer John and 
housewife Sheila. His younger brother Ian is a landscape artist in America.

He left school at 16, worked as a court usher and 
joined the City of London Police in 1990, aged 21.

‘I always respected the police,’ he says. ‘I’ve 
given my life to them. I never imagined I would end up in this situation.’

As he speaks, over a period of several hours, it 
is abundantly clear he is a police officer. He 
talks in a clipped, concise manner. He gives 
details in a monotone voice. He often uses ‘police-speak’ and acronyms.

In the early Nineties he was a uniformed member 
of the ‘Ring of Steel’ around the City of London. 
He transferred to the Metropolitan Police and in 
1996 was recruited to his first undercover course on street-level drug dealing.

‘I was a natural at undercover work and I loved it,’ he says.

‘Drug work was black and white. You identify the 
bad guys, record and film the evidence, present 
it in court and take them down. I did that for four years and loved it.’

Birthday bash: Mark Kennedy/Mark Stone on stage at his '69ers party'

Kennedy married in 1994 and had two children, a 
boy, now aged 12, and a daughter, ten. His wife 
lives in Ireland and is a staunch Catholic and 
for that reason they have not divorced.

He says his children are ‘heartbroken’ by the 
current turn of events: ‘My son has been crying 
and says he never wants to see me again,’ he says sadly.

His marriage failed in 2000, around the same time 
as he was approached by the Animal Rights 
National Index, a unit which became the National 
Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), a shadowy 
body that runs a nationwide intelligence database of political activists.

The unit comes under the control of the 
Association of Chief Police Officers which, as 
The Mail on Sunday has previously reported, is a 
limited company that sells information from the 
Police National Computer, among other concerns.

Kennedy says his cover officer would report back 
up a line of command who ‘were aware of 
everything I was doing. Every action I took had 
to receive something called an “authority” which 
covered me to infiltrate activist groups and be 
involved in minor crime such as trespass and 
criminal damage. In all the time I worked undercover I never broke the law.’

Kennedy says: ‘The NPOIU is extremely specialised 
and intense. It is difficult work. To infiltrate 
a group like the activists is hard, even though 
they are sociable and friendly at the lower 
level. I had to create a whole life, a whole 
backstory, and maintain credibility for years.’

Kennedy says he knew of 15 other operatives doing 
the same work as him during his eight years undercover.

‘Some got busted, others left,’ he says. ‘I was 
the longest-serving operative. At the time I left 
in 2009, there were at least four other 
operatives. I never did anything to jeopardise 
the work or lives of my fellow officers and I will not start now.’

Kennedy created what is known in the trade as ‘a 
legend’ – a believable backstory.

‘I was an avid rock climber and I had been to 
Pakistan so I created a story about being 
involved in the importation of drugs,’ he says.

‘I knew the London drug scene well so I purported 
to be a courier. That is how I justified having money.

‘I said I’d led a bad life and wanted to make 
amends, which was why I was drawn to 
eco-activism. I was also a keen climber, so I 
often worked as an industrial climber, which 
meant I had a means of showing I was “making” 
money, rather than the truth – which was that the NPOIU would wire it to me.

‘I was given a fake passport as Mark Stone, a 
driver’s licence, bank accounts, a credit card 
and a phone with a tracking device.’

His £50,000 annual police salary was paid into a 
private account in his real name. All other 
payments, which he says came to £200,000 a year, 
went into his ‘Mark Stone’ account. He says since 
dropping his cover ‘I have found it hard to sign my own name on cheques again’.

Mark Kennedy says he knew of 15 other operatives 
doing the same work as him during the eight years undercover

He was sent to Nottingham to the Sumac Centre, a 
hub of activists: ‘I started slowly and made 
friends. Then I went to my first gathering of the 
Earth First group where I met an activist called Mark Barnsley.

'Our friendship blossomed and he treated me like 
a brother. He is a cantankerous figure but was 
well respected for his anarchist and vegan 
principles and the fact that he had fought with the PLO.

‘I was one of the few people who had a van, which 
made me a real asset. Things we take for granted 
in the real world are rare in the activist world. 
In those days very few of them had a mobile 
phone. Even now not many drive. That’s how the 
Flash nickname came about. I had stuff.’

Kennedy was involved in numerous activities, 
ranging from protests at the Drax power station 
in Yorkshire to picketing arms fairs in London 
and the Karahnjukar Dam in Iceland. His climbing 
skills were used to scale towers and buildings to 
unfurl banners. He drove hundreds of activists to demonstrations.

‘I began to live the life and enjoy it,’ he says 
frankly. ‘People have this image of hairy tree 
huggers and, yes, there is an element of that. I 
used to joke about them not just being vegans, 
but “freegans”. I was with people who would dive 
into skips to get food if it was free. But there 
are also a lot of educated, passionate people 
with degrees who really believe in what they are doing.’

I ask if the line between the activism and his 
police work ever became blurred: ‘As the years 
went on, I did get a sort of Stockholm Syndrome, 
(where kidnap victims fall for their abductors). 
But I never lost sight of my work. I texted and 
informed on a daily basis. But I began to like 
the people I was with. I formed lasting friendships.

‘I had no other friends. I was estranged from my 
wife. My life was undercover. Of course I cared 
about them. But I didn’t go rogue. I was 
immersing myself in the culture to do my job, to be credible.

‘I reported everything. There were many instances 
of shoplifting. I was offered counterfeit money. 
I was offered drugs many, many times. Yes, I had 
a serious relationship but there was another 
undercover female operative there who definitely knew about it.

'If anyone had asked, I would have told them. But 
no one asked. That is the problem about this 
whole undercover police operation. There seem to 
be no guidelines, no rules. I was pretty much left to fend for myself.

‘I got great information to keep police a step 
ahead of the game. I also prevented violence. At 
a G8 protest in Germany the riot cops were 
planning to go in heavy, but I knew the crowd was 
planning to disperse. I texted that information 
in, and the charge was called off. That stopped bloodshed.’

The low point of his career came in 2006 when he 
was beaten up by five uniformed police officers 
on the perimeter fence of the Drax power station 
– who were only there because he tipped them off.

‘A young petite woman I knew as Cathleen began to 
crawl through a hole in the fence,’ he says. 
‘Then I saw a uniformed police officer start to 
strike her very hard on her legs and lower back with his baton.

‘I tried to stand between her and him. I didn’t 
do anything aggressive. That’s when I got jumped 
on by five officers who kicked and beat me. They 
had batons and pummelled my head. They punched 
me. One officer repeatedly stamped on my back.’

Kennedy went to hospital with a head wound, 
broken finger and a prolapsed disc. His attempt 
to claim for injuries incurred on duty was denied 
as it would blow his cover. ‘That p***ed me off,’ he says.

He says he was embraced by activists throughout 
Europe who he found ‘more militant and volatile’ 
than in Britain. In 2008 he was invited to a 
forest on the French-German border where groups 
from around Europe would share skills.

‘It was almost stereotypical. The Germans made 
very technical, clean and precise incendiary 
devices, the French were flamboyant and used 
Gauloises cigarettes to light the fuse and the 
Greeks were all for a big bang: they strapped a 
gas canister to a basic incendiary device.

‘When it was my turn I shared details of arm 
tubes – when protestors clip their arms into 
steel tubes to create a barrier. I think the 
others were a bit disappointed but British 
activism didn’t have the militancy or violence of other countries.’

Kennedy says he would travel abroad with fellow 
activists, and feed information back to his 
British superiors to share with other nations. 
‘Activism has no borders,’ he says. ‘I would 
never go abroad without authority from my superiors and the local police.’

But Kennedy claims there were repeated cases of police mismanagement.

‘I was supposed to get psychological counselling every three months,’ he said.

‘I would go two years without seeing the shrink. 
Initially meetings were regular. Then it became a 
farce. The office was so greedy for intelligence 
that they didn’t set up the meetings. They went 
by the wayside. I’m sure that’s the same for other undercover officers too.’

He adds: ‘Plans were constantly changed at the 
last minute. It wore on my nerves. They just 
assumed I could change everything on the whim of 
the officer in control. It wasn’t that easy.

‘I became increasingly paranoid. I was stressed 
out. I was fried. I never stopped being a cop, 
but I was pushed to the limit of what I could endure.’

Kennedy says his cover was blown when a meeting 
planning action at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power 
station in Nottinghamshire was raided in April 2009.

‘When it all kicked off, 114 people were 
arrested, including me. No further action was 
taken against most of them, but 27 people, 
including me, were to be charged with conspiracy 
offences. I kept being told by my cover officer, 
“Don’t worry, they are going to drop it,” but they never did.’

Meanwhile, Kennedy continued to work undercover, 
including the climate camp in London in the 
summer of 2009, but the Ratcliffe-on-Soar arrest was still hanging over him.

‘I was interviewed twice by detectives,’ he says. 
‘The second time, I was the only one without a 
solicitor, which was hugely weird.

‘You can’t lie to a lawyer. So I couldn’t have a 
lawyer. I was a few days from being charged, then 
the case was dropped. That pretty much blew my cover.’

He says he was told his eight-year undercover 
operation was over in a curt text message in September 2009.

‘I’d just had a huge 40th birthday party for me 
and ten others born in 1969 called the 69ers 
party at a farm in Herefordshire. I was told, “At 
least you had a great party and now it’s over.” 
Then the text came telling me I had three weeks.

‘I had to clear out of the house where I was 
living in Nottingham. I was made to hand over my 
Mark Stone passport, driving licence and credit 
cards. I was then driven to Ireland.

‘I didn’t say goodbye properly. I’d told the 
activists I was feeling burned out and was going 
to visit my brother in America “indefinitely”. It 
was ridiculous, everyone knows you can’t just go to America like that.

‘I was given a mailing address in the US which 
was a PO Box. I had Facebook accounts and email 
accounts but wasn’t allowed to use those. I had 
lots of leave to take, which I spent with my children in Ireland.

‘I had an interview with the Met’s personnel 
department in December 2009 and was told I wasn’t qualified.

‘I was in there less than 20 minutes. I came out 
hugely depressed. I’d done 20 years’ service and 
they were basically telling me I was only 
qualified to drive a panda car. So long 
undercover had left me totally inequipped to go 
back into mainstream policing. I couldn’t even use the radios or computers.

‘Then in January last year I was approached by a 
private company which advises corporations about 
activist trends. It’s run by Rod Leeming, a 
former Special Branch officer. I’d never met him before.’

The company, Global Open, is based in London and 
has advised major corporations including E.On – 
which runs the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power plant – and BAE.

Kennedy handed in his resignation from the police 
in January, ending work in March.

He then went back to Nottingham and contacted his 
old friends: ‘People were worried about me. I 
wanted to withdraw myself in a more believable 
way. I didn’t tell police I was going back.’

He resumed his relationship with his girlfriend 
while he worked for Global Open as a consultant – 
although he says he did not operate undercover for the company.

‘I was using the time to try to extract myself in a proper way,’ he says.

‘I did a course on servicing wind turbines. I 
made the excuse that I was going to go off around 
the world doing that. That would have been a far 
more acceptable exit than just vanishing.’

In July he and his girlfriend went on holiday to 
Europe – when she discovered his passport in the 
name of Mark Kennedy. ‘She told the other 
activists about it and they started investigating me.

‘When I went to visit my kids in October I got a 
menacing phone call saying they knew I was a cop.

‘I knew then that it was over.’

‘My taped evidence was suppressed’


Tape recordings allegedly suppressed by the 
police would have destroyed the prosecution’s 
case against six activists accused of trying to 
shut down one of Britain’s biggest power stations, Mark Kennedy believes.

The Crown Prosecution Service said last week it 
was abandoning the £1 million prosecution against 
the environmental activists after fresh information had been made available.

It subsequently emerged that the Independent 
Police Complaints Commission is investigating 
allegations that Nottinghamshire Police failed to 
disclose all its evidence to the CPS including, 
it is claimed, several tape recordings.

Now Mr Kennedy has told The Mail on Sunday that 
he was the officer who made the recordings.
And he says the tapes throw considerable doubt on 
whether the activists accused of attempting to 
close Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal station, in 
Nottinghamshire, should have been charged with 
conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass.

Mr Kennedy said: ‘The truth of the matter is that 
the tapes clearly show that the six defendants 
who were due to go on trial had not joined any conspiracy.

‘The tapes I made meant that the police couldn’t 
prove their case. I have no idea why the police with held these tapes.’

On April 12 and 13 last year, Mr Kennedy says he 
attended two meetings, with 114 other protesters, 
at Iona School in Nottingham, to discuss shutting down the power plant.

Mr Kennedy said that before these meetings he was 
instructed to wear a recording device, the first 
time he had been ordered to do so by his 
handlers. Twenty activists were subsequently 
arrested at the school and found guilty of 
conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at a trial in December.

Six others were to go on trial this week on the 
same charges, until the case was dropped.

However Mr Kennedy believes that his recordings 
prove that the activists should not have been charged.

The charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated 
trespass, according to a senior barrister, 
requires an agreement among all those charged 
with the conspiracy to break in to the coal station.
Criminal barrister Michael Wolkind QC said: ‘It 
is straightforward. There has to be evidence of agreement.’

But Mr Kennedy, who subsequently flirted with 
providing assistance to the activists’ defence 
team, said there was no agreement and his recordings prove it.

‘The meetings were over two days and I recorded 
both days. The first recording didn’t record 
because the office had failed to charge the battery on the device.

‘The second day, the battery was charged and I 
recorded Spencer Cook, one of the defendants who 
was convicted in the first trial last December, 
holding a briefing in front of 114 people detailing what the action was about.

‘It was to shut down the power station in a safe way.

‘During that briefing Spencer was very clear that 
this was a volunteer-only operation and it was 
down to the individual to decide what role they 
wanted to play. There was no pressure on anybody 
to take part in anything they didn’t want to do.

‘I just assumed that the police would naturally 
put my tapes into evidence. Clearly I was wrong.’

Mike Schwarz, the lawyer representing the 
activists involved, said Mr Kennedy’s evidence 
cast doubt on the legality of the whole police operation.

He said: ‘What Kennedy says now and what he 
confirmed to his handlers at the time casts 
serious doubt on the safety of the conviction of 
the 20 activists and the compliance of the police 
with their legal obligations.’

Under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations 
Act of 1996, the police have a duty to make the 
CPS and the defence team aware of evidence they have collected.

Mr Kennedy’s identity could have been protected 
by the judge granting a Public Interest Immunity 
order should the tapes have been heard in court.

Nottinghamshire Police declined to comment tonight.
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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