James Straven undercover

Ellie is one of several women involved in the ongoing civil cases. She has requested anonymity; this has been upheld by the courts. ‘Ellie’ is a pseudonym.

In 2001 I met the man I considered to be my first love. I had boyfriends before but this felt different and as a young 21 year old it was great to think that there was someone out there that liked me for me. After nearly a year he told me he had to leave for America to be near his children, who were moving there, but following his departure we maintained contact, emailing regularly and catching up when he supposedly came back to the UK.

In 2005, I also moved overseas, but we still maintained contact and he managed to meet me whenever I went back to the UK. We remained very close for years, I thought highly of him, valued his judgment and opinions, and cared deeply for him.

Like the other women, I have since found out that this man doesn’t exist, and the man pretending to be him was an undercover police officer, part of a secretive police department that primarily infiltrated left wing groups and put up with us ‘wearies’ to gather information.

I was not part of any activist groups back then, but now this makes me wish I had been, because I believe that the people that do stand against injustice are right. Sadly, this makes them targets and subject to unsavoury and underhand tactics.

To say all this has severely impacted my life is a gross understatement. The lengths the SDS went to were extreme and I fail to see how they were in any way necessary or ethical. I have since come forward to the Inquiry anonymously and am part of an ongoing civil case. I have also requested anonymity.

Since this has come to light I find it hard to relate to, or trust, people and have become paranoid. I no longer feel safe in my home or within this society. From what I have been able to piece together, I believe that the man I knew as James Straven is willing to be violent or intimidating if he feels he needs to be. I have no idea what potential risk or danger he is to me now. I have no ability to defend myself as the threat is completely unknown and I am therefore incredibly exposed and vulnerable. He knows everything about me; my movements, where I live, where I work, and my habits, while I know nothing about him or his associates. I therefore do not know if I, or my family, are safe.

More about Ellie

Article on ABC news website: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-06/uk-women-discover-boyfriends-were-undercover-police-officers/12949940

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