Bob Lambert had a five-year covert career using the alias Bob Robinson
The married office slept with four women and fathered a child with one
Lambert claims that being undercover led to his bad behaviour
Back in the day: During a covert career in which he infiltrated various groups, Bob Lambert has spoke of his disgust at some of his actions
A former Scotland Yard police officer who fathered a child with one of several targets he had relationships with while working undercover has apologised to the women.
Bob Lambert said he would always regret the ‘serious mistakes’ he made during a covert career which saw him use the identities of dead children, give evidence in court under his false name and co-author a libellous leaflet.
Mr Lambert used the alias Bob Robinson during his five years infiltrating environmentalist groups, when he was with the special demonstration squad (SDS), the Metropolitan Police unit that targeted political activists.
The revelation that the married officer slept with four women – fathering a child with one – sparked outrage.
In an interview with Channel 4 News, he said he accepts his behaviour was morally reprehensible and a gross invasion of privacy.
‘With hindsight, I can only say that I genuinely regret my actions, and I apologise to the women affected,’ he said.
‘I’d always been a faithful husband. I only ever became an unfaithful husband when I became an undercover police officer.’
The ex-officer declined to reveal whether his superiors were aware of the child – insisting he would only discuss that with an investigation into the activities of undercover police activities being led by the chief constable of Derbyshire.
Mr Lambert said he ‘didn’t really give pause for thought on the ethical considerations’ of adopting the identity of a dead child in 1984 as it was standard practice at the time.
‘That’s what was done. Let’s be under no illusions about the extent to which that was an accepted practice that was well known at the highest levels of the Home Office,’ he told the programme.
Baby snatched from its pram and thrown to the floor outside a hospital by teenager who was on a legal high called Salvia
He confirmed that he had appeared in court as Bob Robinson but could not say whether the judiciary was made aware by the police that he was doing so.
‘On occasions I was arrested as Bob Robinson and to maintain cover I went through the process of arrest, detention, and on occasions, appearing in court,’ he said.
Lambert insists he was unaware of any campaign to smear family and friends of Stephen Lawrence
He denied it amounted to perjury as ‘the position was that I was maintaining cover as Bob Robinson’.
But asked if the court was ‘made aware’, he added: ‘Well, that’s what needs to be established.’
Mr Lambert also confirmed that he helped write a libellous leaflet that attacked fast food giant McDonald’s and triggered the longest civil trial in English history.
McDonald’s famously sued two green campaigners over the leaflet in a landmark three-year high court case.
It was not disclosed during the costly civil legal proceedings brought by McDonalds in the 1990s that an undercover police officer helped write the leaflet.
‘I was certainly a contributing author to the McLibel leaflet. Well, I think, the one that I remember, the one that I remember making a contribution to, was called What’s Wrong With McDonalds?’, he told Channel 4.
Over the line: Bob Lambert in a more recent picture, fathered a child with one of his targets
Asked if that fact was disclosed during the proceedings, he said: ‘I don’t know.’
He repeated his rejection though of claims that he planted an incendiary device in a Debenhams store in Harrow in 1987, calling that a ‘false allegation’.
Mr Lambert, who was an SDS manager for five years, earlier this week insisted he had not been aware of any campaign against the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
Those claims were made by another veteran of the unit, Peter Francis, who alleges he was told to find information to use to smear the Lawrence family – who are calling for a public inquiry to examine the issue.
Home Secretary Theresa May has said they would be looked at by the Derbyshire probe and a separate inquiry led by barrister Mark Ellison QC into alleged corruption in the original Lawrence murder investigation, but has left open the possibility of other action.
‘My reputation is never going to be redeemed for many people, and I don’t think it should be,’ Mr Lambert said.
‘I think I made serious mistakes that I should regret, and I always will do. I think the only real comfort I can take from my police career is that the Muslim Contact Unit was about learning from mistakes.’
Belinda Harvey, one of eight women who are suing the Metropolitan Police over relationships with men who turned out to be undercover officers, rejected his apology.
‘Almost everything he said to me was a lie; why would I possibly believe what he says to me know.’ she told Channel 4.
‘If it hadn’t been for the case we’re bringing against the police, he would never have apologised and I would have lived the rest of my days not finding out the truth.’
Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald of River Glaven said the latest evidence strengthened the case for a judge-led public inquiry.
‘It is as bad as I think we thought it was,’ he said.
‘He seems to have admitted a great deal of the conduct that people feared had been taking place.
‘It now sounds as though not only senior police officers but senior civil servants may have known what was going on.
‘It’s no good having this multitude of inquiries that are going on at the moment, one of them conducted by the police themselves which is pretty hopeless in my view.
‘We need a single public inquiry under a senior judicial figure to examine what happened, what went wrong, who authorised it and most of all to reassure us that its not going on still.’
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 00:37 GMT, 6 July 2013 | UPDATED: 01:06 GMT, 6 July 2013
Find this story at 6 July 2013
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