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a socpa mystery - help with identification needed

rikki | 09.01.2006 21:51 | SOCPA | Free Spaces | Indymedia | Repression | London

today, bow street magistrates court started hearing evidence against four of the five people arrested in parliament square on the day the new socpa legislation came into force on the 1st august last year. but it is now clear that seven people were arrested that day, but two mysteriously avoided charges. WHY?

why was this man immune to arrest?
why was this man immune to arrest?

on that lovely warm day in the summer last year, police waded into the crowd of some 100 demonstrators, and snatched a handful of the participants while leaving most untouched. reports on the day spoke of five arrested, and this was confirmed by the police, and by mainstream media. police were overheard stating they had a quota of six to grab.

you can read an indymedia report of the afternoon at

today in court, four of those arrestees appeared. the fifth, ann clancy, is unfortunately ill and police have agreed not to proceed with the case.

during the course of today, in talking to those arrested, other witnesses, and watching police video footage of the afternoon, a mystery has emerged. two more people were arrested and escorted to the waiting vans, but both these people have since completely disappeared from the record. after being driven off in the vans, they were clearly released without charge. why was this? who were these people? what singled them out for special leniency? what is their connection, if any, to the 'stop the war coalition' and or the police/security services?

one of them was a sudanese woman, who spoke on the megaphone at times, and who was otherwise wearing a black gag across her mouth. she also wore a black and white headdress. i have no picture of her, but she was always near the megaphone and was clearly visible on police videos of the action. the other was the man pictured above, being arrested. who is he? does he have any affiliations that you know of? i think we should know!

the court case of the four continues at bow street tomorrow, and may possibly run into a third day. i will report on that when it is finished, but in the meantime can anyone help identify these people? or perhaps you ARE one of these people and can come forward with your record of the events of the day. your help may affect the outcome of this or future socpa trials and appeals.



Hide the following 26 comments


09.01.2006 22:19


david shayler

Interesting - but please...

10.01.2006 08:48

please don't post people's personal details here!

certainly there may be something spooky going on here, then again there may not, so please be careful. why not ask the police?



10.01.2006 14:27

MB said (who I share name initials with):
"Please don't post people's personal details here! Certainly there may be something spooky going on here, then again there may not, so please be careful. why not ask the police?"

Do you seriously think that if something spooky was really going on, the police would make enquiries when a higher authority would intervene and say "nothing doing here".

I think it legitimate that people put these individual's photos up. Why on earth not since they disappeared into thin air and failed to keep in touch with anyone else after such an incident (presumably, they were taken to a different nick, so, suspicious that they failed to get back in contact with anybody else after the event - they could easily have made reconnection with people even if they didn't previously know anyone involved in the action through the people's common gathering every sunday at Parliament Square).

another MB

why i put this picture up - genuine public interest

10.01.2006 17:45

four people face charges this week under the new socpa legislation. one other's case has been dropped only because of grave illness. the four if found guilty will have a criminal conviction with them for the rest of their lives. one of them will quite likely lose their job if convicted.

the person in the photograph was personally witnessed by me being arrested and escorted to a police van - this has been corroborated by several other witnesses.

i HAVE asked the police this week, and they claim to have no knowledge of him.

the stop the war coalition called the demonstration on the 1st august (with support from muslim association of britain). it emerged in court today that police spoke to stop the war organisers of the demonstration on two occasions (although not named in court their names were known to the police). for more than an hour that afternoon various speakers well known as organisers of the stop the war coalition spoke on the megaphone.

and yet, no-one from stop the war coaltion was arrested.

six, possibly seven people other people were arrested. one of them was this man. perhaps he languishes in a jail somewhere or was deported or suffered 'extraordinary rendition' and his family are wondering what has happened to him, in which case, the news that he was last seen in police custody could be very important to them.

alternatively, if it should turn out that he is closely connected to the stop the war coalition, then very serious questions arise as to why he was the only one who was not charged. i have not given out personal details - i have published a photo that was taken in a public place.

it is important for all these reasons to get to the bottom of this - it may be very useful to the defence should any of the four be found guilty and launch an appeal. this is not a witch-hunt - but it is a real mystery that needs solving.


Don't know where this is going, but...

10.01.2006 21:00

"the person in the photograph was personally witnessed by me being arrested and escorted to a police van - this has been corroborated by several other witnesses".

Yes, I was there, and he's photographed in this report also:

"i HAVE asked the police this week, and they claim to have no knowledge of him."

Well that is clearly weird. Presumably then you have a name for him (?) They must have some record of his arrival at a police station if (as we saw) he was bundled into a police van and taken away.

If the police, who are reading this, don't fess up, or the man concerned, who will be an indymedia reader, doesn't come forward, then I think there may some serious questions need answering. We'll have to take it forward.

(BTW, is the "sudanese woman, who spoke on the megaphone at times" picture five in the above report?)

"six, possibly seven people other people were arrested. one of them was this man"

...although I'm not sure where this number comes from. At the time we all agreed (as much as you can at the time) that there were five arrests (and we were including him).

"perhaps he languishes in a jail somewhere or was deported or suffered 'extraordinary rendition' and his family are wondering what has happened to him, in which case, the news that he was last seen in police custody could be very important to them".

A year ago I'd have said you were mad. But then a year ago you could demonstrate in Parliament Square.

mini mouse
mail e-mail:

mini answers

11.01.2006 00:21

there is no record of this man's arrival at a police station. i spoke to the officer who was in charge of collating video evidence against the accused. he agreed the man was clearly being arrested, but he said he had no idea what happened to him.

your picture 6 shows one of the defendants as well as our mystery man - also just behind the palestinian man you can see a woman partially obscured. she is another of the current defendants.

your picture 7 shows our mystery man clearly under arrest.

your picture 8 shows ann clancy whose case has been dropped because of her grave illness.

your picture 9 shows another of the accounted for defendants.

there is one remaining defendant not shown in your pics.

the beeb, the police, and the stwc reported five arrests. they are all accounted for - four are in court this week, and the fifth is ann clancy. our mystery man is not in court.

as to your question over picture five, i cannot be absolutely sure. in all the police evidence i've seen in court this week she appears to be wearing a black and white head dress and white top. your pic is from the front, and we cannot see most of the headdress. i would guess this is her, but i really cannot be 100% on this - it is also less clear that she was taken to a van, but two witnesses have told me this was the case.

thanks for your input mini mouse. can anyone else help with this. it really needs to be solved. i will try asking more questions tomorrow - i think i will have a chance to talk to the inspector who put together the current cases, although of course he may not be too forthcoming!


The view from NYC

11.01.2006 00:55

If you ban freedom of peaceful assembly and free speech then you are no better than the terrorists. Oi Vey. You brits live under like a facist socialist state. I don't understand why you limeys haven't gotten around to beheading that german queen and write a damn constitution.
Also, maybe those "protestors" are undercover cops or intelligence officers?

New York City ( Birthplace of Anarchism! )

it IS serious

11.01.2006 22:08

this issue is very serious on four counts (at least!):

1. it is serious for individual/independent protesters, if the STWC are in cahoots with the police
2. it is serious for the police if they are found to be in cahoots with STWC and therefore they are not doing their job fairly or properly.
3. it is serious for the STWC if they are found to be in cahoots with the police because it seriously undermines their position.
4. it is serious for this individual if he has indeed disappeared in curious circumstances.

whichever way you look at it, this needs investigation.


OK, let's get some bloggers on the case

13.01.2006 11:37

I've started up a campaign page here so bloggers can chip in and help:

Cheers all.

Tim Ireland
- Homepage:

nice one tim

13.01.2006 23:53

thanks for your excellent pice at bloggerheads

if you get any leads, can you pass them on to please


Will do.

14.01.2006 09:55

All we have so far is a link to this familiar-looking chap:

Tim Ireland
- Homepage:

det sgt john pickersgill - is he our man?

14.01.2006 17:01

thanks for that link tim. and big thanks to whoever sent it in. how on earth did you find it?

so, his hairline looks identical. his hands look similar. his body shape and shoulders look very similar. on one of the demo photos his mouth shape (when straight) looks extremely similar. his nose isn't too clear on 'the job' photo, but does look a bit thinner in my opinion - the only doubt it's the same guy. my feeling overall is that we've quite likely got our man, and it would make a lot of sense that he is (as per the article) a covert officer and detective sargeant.

so what was he doing there undercover standing right by the main speakers for the afternoon? perhaps he was jeremy corbyn's bodyguard :), or he has infiltrated stwc for information, in which case i'd have thought we'll hear from one of them soon, or he was following one of the other demonstrators, or he disagrees with the socpa law and was there adding to the numbers on his day off.

whatever his reason for being there, it seems he was arrested (and therefore not known to the operation on the ground), flashed his warrant card, and was freed.

do other people have any other theories? and do you agree whether we've got our man?

an exhaustive google search found no other references to him although there is an inspector with the same name in gloucestershire who is definitely someone different, because the earliest reference to him (as inspector) was prior the 'job' article where our man was a lowly det sgt.

any more leads? keep em coming.


Judging by his expression

15.01.2006 14:38

Judging by his expression I'd say he was a cop or someone- not a routine protestor. He doesn't look intimidated, frightened or angry, more resigned and pissed off. Like he's thinking 'just have to sit this one out before I can flash my get out of jail free card'.


Did you access the link...?

16.01.2006 17:00

You know how they keep your DNA even if they don't charge you.....

And you know how indymedia doesn't log IP addresses.....

Well it's just possible that an address like

And it's even easier to keep on file than a gob of spit.

not likely

It's not him - I just asked

17.01.2006 10:37

His response: "I can absolutely and categorically state that it wasn't me."

The Missing Protestor page has been updated with all relevant info:

Tim Ireland
- Homepage:


03.02.2006 13:55

( His response: "I can absolutely and categorically state that it wasn't me." )

well he wouldn't be lying would he?


Is this him?

07.05.2007 22:50

Hi. Sorry to butt in but I've been lurking around, very interested in this subject.
In the course of my job I came across this man in a central London hostel recently. I thought he looked a lot like the ‘missing protester’ . When I asked him about this he let me take his photo and told me a strange and garbled tale. He was clearly mentally disturbed. He said he had enjoyed a 20 year career in the police force but then one day, awoke to find himself in a police cell with no memory of what had happened the previous day. He was processed by his own colleagues but they acted as if they had never met him before and turfed him onto the streets. When he tried to report for work he was repeatedly told that they had no record of him and was threatened with arrest. Eventually he was sectioned and sent to a secure hospital from which he has only recently been released. This might explain why no-one has seen him for two years. But the rest of his story seems pretty incredible.



12.05.2007 12:55

The hooter certainly looks familiar! Seriously though, that story is a bit hard to swallow - are you sure you're not connected with the police yourself, "Moggy"?

Tom Scotland

In Cahooters

13.05.2007 12:44

Thanks for your comment Tom Scotland-Yard!
Yes, a distinctive nose and not at all like Det. Pickersgill's imho.


...Or is this him?

18.05.2007 20:09

Tim Ireland, millionaire friend or the stars (Boris Johnson)
Tim Ireland, millionaire friend or the stars (Boris Johnson)

Is this the true face of the disappearing spook git?

John Pritchard-Pilkington

Not PC

18.05.2007 20:14

Moggy: OK, he may be a state asset invisible scumbag but thet's no reason to go on about his physical deformities.
lots of love

PS is anyone reading this?

Enorma Snows

got a match

31.05.2007 15:16

looks just like him - moggy story sounds dubious though. maybe released because defying a section? or for mental health reasons that were clear at the time? But not like the popo to not keep details

norman bates

Will you miss me?

09.06.2007 20:47

I am the so-called missing protester. I am not missing. I was not arrested on that day, or bundled into a police van and driven away. I was dragged by the police to the edge of the sqare, and asked for my name and address (and mobile phone number!). The police officers asked me if I had received a leaflet, and if I knew that I was taking part in an illegal demonstration. I replied that I hadn't and didn't. The police officers warned me that continuing to protest would mean that I was breaking the law and I would be arrested if I did so.
Although I can understand people's concern that someone who according to some witnesses was bundled into a police van and then disappeared without a trace, some of the comments posted above are quite frankly ridiculous, for example, "this person, who will be an Indymedia reader" (- oh really? I'd never heard of you before someone sent me a link to Bloggerheads a few weeks ago), "judging by his expression, I'd say this person is a cop or something" (utter genius!). "why hasn't this person come forward?" (sorry, I didn't know I was missing until a few weeks ago!). David Shayler's comment is typically pathetic and, don't you think, a teeny bit hypocritical?
Despite the huge number of links to the Bloggerheads page, no one as yet has approached me in the street and accused me of being the missing protester (Although I'm sure the chaps at Redwatch were pleased with the pictures). I think there is a need for independent news media like Indymedia but unreliable and paranoid reporting (and in Bloggerheads' case, victimisation of someone with few resources to counter the false allegations and unwanted publicity generated - were you at the demo yourself, Tim Ireland?) undermines the credibility of all that you publish.

Bunty Jenner
mail e-mail:

this is great

10.06.2007 22:42

I know this person and he is not a policeman...ffs he's barely even a man......all this stuff whilst hilarious is actually really stoopid and then some..he might be a pisshead but that's about it.. get alife you pissflaps

Angela Verstien
mail e-mail:

To: 'Bunty' (and 'Moggy')

03.07.2007 13:34

Yes, 'Bunty', I was there... which is why some aspects of your account (some related here and some via email) confuse me.

The helpful contribution from 'Moggy' did little to help your case, as there have been a number of trolls and trouble-makers claiming to be the missing protestor, and yet 'Moggy' was the first to present any explanation with a credible photo to back it up.

(Coincidentally, you first emailed me within an hour of other trolls posted here by 'John Pritchard-Pilkington' and 'Enorma Snows'. Did you make these comments, or was it some other Tommy, Dicky or Harry?)

After your first email, I asked for photographic evidence. You delivered a few days later and those photos - that you asked not be published - closely matched those of our missing protestor (and, problematically, the photo provided by 'Moggy'... you have since said that this can be explained by 'Moggy' being a friend of yours who was having some fun at your expense).

But despite there being a fair level of probability that you were our missing protestor, we still had the small problem of eyewitness accounts. Someone had yet to explain why our missing protestor had been described by witnesses as being arrested and escorted into a police van and even filmed and photographed being forcibly detained by police and escorted toward the line of police vans on the Abbey side of Parliament Square (and none too quietly)... and not seen since.

This did not have to be explained in detail (see conclusion of this comment) but I considered it prudent to use your response as further proof of your claim to be the missing protestor... i.e. by gauging your familiarity with circumstances surrounding the event.

It was only a month later - after I chased you - that you pointed me in the direction of the account you gave here (almost a month later) and embellished on it privately.

If you'll allow me to paraphrase that account, after your noisy confrontation with police you were allowed to go quietly (on the understanding that you not continue to protest because, despite your protests, the police accepted that, until then, you did not know you were not allowed to protest that you were not allowed to protest).

So it's quite possible that in the minds of witnesses you were grouped with the others who were detained and then put inside police vans when you were instead escorted to a quiet corner of the square and allowed to go on your merry way.

But, if you'll forgive me for saying so, it's equally possible that you attended this event with the express purpose* of disrupting it or exacerbating it. (*With or without the co-operation of the police.)

It is also equally possible that you are not the missing protestor, just a troublemaker with access to photos of him (or someone who closely resembles him).

Pardon me for not being generous with portions of Benefit of the Doubt, but you also claimed that you later talked with people and police in the square... meaning that you stayed in the square or immediately returned to the square after your run-in with the police. And yet it would make little sense for you to do so, myself and others clearly don't recall you doing so, and I can't find any photographic or video evidence of you doing so.

This and other aspects of your account simply do not gel.

IF you are who you say you are... if you don't wish to (or cannot) resolve the issue in detail, then fine - there are some things that remain your business, but please stop complaining about what was 'made public' at Bloggerheads, as it concerns already-published data regarding your behaviour during your voluntary attendance at a public demonstration.

Oh, and no matter who you are, you may also wish to avoid self-contradictory arguments, statements/suggestions that blur the line between what is published at Bloggerheads and what is published here, and other such troll-like behaviour... as it's a waste of everybody's time.

The 'missing' page has been updated to include your account, as per our email conversation:

I'll also be linking to this comment as part of the update.

Reply if you like, or let it rest at that... but if you don't present anything new, valid, coherent and pertinent information by way of reply, then I shall simply ignore you.


Tim Ireland
- Homepage:

What is it that you want?

07.07.2007 18:54

Tim seems to have got the wrong end of the stick!
I went to the protest aware that the police would probably try to break it up. I was grabbed by the police because I put myself between them and the person who was using the megaphone. When I was grabbed, I expected to be arrested.
I have not, in any correspondence I've had with Tim Ireland or Rikki, complained that it was defamatory for them to suggest I had been arrested. What I object to is the suggestion that I was acting as an agent provocateur, or that I am an undercover policeman (see for example Rikki's comment above, "it seems he was arrested...flashed his warrant card, and was freed". I also object to Tim Ireland's self-important, bullying manner and tactics.
Consider the following:
1) On 1st August 2005, I joined a protest against a law I thought was unjust. During the course of that protest, I had a brush with the law and was dragged forcibly away. I then returned to the square to see if anyone was going to go to the police station where the arrested people were being held and continue the protest there. There were no takers, so I went down on my own but seeing there was no-one else there I went home.

2) 20 months later, I get a call from a friend saying there were pictures of me being arrested all over the internet. She sent me a link to the Bloggerheads/missing page. At first I just skimmed over the stuff and it seemed quite funny - ludicrous really. Then I realised Tim's buttons were actually quite popular and there were lots of links to the site on the web. So Iread it in more detail. I contacted Tim, explained to him that I hadn't been arrested and driven away on the day in question, and asked him to remove the page and publish an apology. His only response was to ask me how I explained Rikki's report that himself and "several others" had seen me dragged into a police van and driven away from the square. Since I could only explain it as being not true - which is what I'd already told him - I treated this request with the contempt it deserved.

3) I cannot for the life of me understand why Tim Ireland thinks I owe him anything. He emailed me saying that his "missing protester" campaign was against the police, not against me: but it is actually all about me, my face on the links and several times on his (and this) page. His "doubts" about the truth of my account of walking around the square are as silly as his srequest for me to explain Rikki and chums hallucinations.

Bunty Jenner
mail e-mail:

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