I was approached to infiltrate animal rights groups. I asked my recruiter, where’s the bad guy? Why would I spend years infiltrating a group of people who want to rescue beagles?

My nation needed me, I was told. If the group of businesses that relied on animal testing left the UK, then we could lose 5% of GDP overnight. I was disturbed by the idea that police were being directed by political motivations, [and] being used to protect a specific sector of business and the investments of shareholders.

– Neil Woods, former spy cop

Throughout its 14 year history, SHAC attracted spy cops from a variety of police units. Many of these officers carried out and incited criminal activity and attempted to pressure activists to confess to crimes they had not committed.


JAMES ADAMS

‘James’ was the pseudonym given to an undercover officer working for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). In 2010 he pretended to be an executive for pharmaceutical giant and HLS customer Novartis.

Debbie Vincent and another SHAC activist held a series of meetings with Adams and Andrew Jackson, Global Head of Corporate Security at Novartis. They thought the purpose was to reach a compromise over the company’s draconian injunction but in reality it was a sting to try to implicate Debbie in a blackmail conspiracy.

Shortly afterwards Adams followed Debbie onto the underground and attempted to pressure her into confessing to crimes she had no knowledge of.

JAMES ADAMS

‘James’ was the pseudonym given to an undercover officer working for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). In 2010 he pretended to be an executive for pharmaceutical giant and HLS customer Novartis.

Debbie Vincent and another SHAC activist held a series of meetings with Adams and Andrew Jackson, Global Head of Corporate Security at Novartis. They thought the purpose was to reach a compromise over the company’s draconian injunction but in reality it was a sting to try to implicate Debbie in a blackmail conspiracy.

Shortly afterwards Adams followed Debbie onto the underground and attempted to pressure her into confessing to crimes she had no knowledge of.

ROD RICHARDSON

‘Rod’ stole his cover name from the grave of a dead child. He was a police officer from the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) and infiltrated environmental and anti-capitalist groups between 1999-2003.

He was involved in several SHAC protests and played a key role in an action against HLS customer Glaxo SmithKline. He helped flood their carpark with Horlicks during a mass mobilisation. The home secretary, Jack Straw congratulated Thames Valley police for the way they responded to the Horlicks incident in the Houses of Parliament, describing the protestors involved as being “both bad and mad”

Richardson was predominantly active in London, Essex and Nottingham.

He left the activist scene in 2003 claiming to be moving abroad to live with his girlfriend Jo, who he had been with throughout his deployment.

ROD RICHARDSON

‘Rod’ stole his cover name from the grave of a dead child. He was a police officer from the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) and infiltrated environmental and anti-capitalist groups between 1999-2003.

He was involved in several SHAC protests and played a key role in an action against HLS customer Glaxo SmithKline. He helped flood their carpark with Horlicks during a mass mobilisation. The home secretary, Jack Straw congratulated Thames Valley police for the way they responded to the Horlicks incident in the Houses of Parliament, describing the protestors involved as being “both bad and mad”

Richardson was predominantly active in London, Essex and Nottingham.

He left the activist scene in 2003 claiming to be moving abroad to live with his girlfriend Jo, who he had been with throughout his deployment.

DAVE EVANS

‘Dave’ joined London Animal Action (LAA) in September 1999. He attended most of LAA’s meetings as well as many demonstrations. On a number of occasions Evans was accompanied by a woman named Wanda who claimed to be his girlfriend but almost certainly was a spy cop too.

He drove a minibus for LAA on the SHAC Day of Action in February 2001, which was also attended by Rod Richardson.

He also drove activists to the G8 Summit in Scotland in 2005. All those in Evans’ minibus were arrested but the charges were later dropped. This was the last confirmed sighting of him.

DAVE EVANS

‘Dave’ joined London Animal Action (LAA) in September 1999. He attended most of LAA’s meetings as well as many demonstrations. On a number of occasions Evans was accompanied by a woman named Wanda who claimed to be his girlfriend but almost certainly was a spy cop too.

He drove a minibus for LAA on the SHAC Day of Action in February 2001, which was also attended by Rod Richardson.

He also drove activists to the G8 Summit in Scotland in 2005. All those in Evans’ minibus were arrested but the charges were later dropped. This was the last confirmed sighting of him.

GARY RAYNER

‘Gary’ was an NPOIU agent who spied on animal rights activists from 2006-2010. He was mainly involved in the SPEAK campaign against Oxford University’s animal lab and was the replacement for Ritchie Clarke (see below). For the first two years he had a partner named Abigail who is believed to have been another undercover police officer. He lived in Oxford and claimed to be a freelance web-designer who worked from home.

In 2008 Rayner went to the International AR Gathering in Norway with other activists. While there he spent time with Debbie Vincent, and took photos of her which were later used in her trial. The spy cop quit animal rights to allegedly move abroad in 2010.

GARY RAYNER

‘Gary’ was an NPOIU agent who spied on animal rights activists from 2006-2010. He was mainly involved in the SPEAK campaign against Oxford University’s animal lab and was the replacement for Ritchie Clarke (see below). For the first two years he had a partner named Abigail who is believed to have been another undercover police officer. He lived in Oxford and claimed to be a freelance web-designer who worked from home.

In 2008 Rayner went to the International AR Gathering in Norway with other activists. While there he spent time with Debbie Vincent, and took photos of her which were later used in her trial. The spy cop quit animal rights to allegedly move abroad in 2010.

RITCHIE CLARK

‘Ritchie’ was an NPOIU agent deployed in animal rights from 2002-2006. He lived in Bedford and was heavily involved in Bedford Animal Action as well as SHAC.

Clarke drove minibuses and cars on “home demonstrations” against people connected to HLS. He went hunt sabbing and attended animal rights gatherings in the UK. On a number of occasions he was arrested. Clarke supposedly had an on/off relationship with a Scandinavian woman who occasionally visited him in the UK. In late 2005 he said he was moving to Norway to be with her as she was pregnant. He told activists “don’t try and look me up” and left the movement the following year.

RITCHIE CLARK

‘Ritchie’ was an NPOIU agent deployed in animal rights from 2002-2006. He lived in Bedford and was heavily involved in Bedford Animal Action as well as SHAC.

Clarke drove minibuses and cars on “home demonstrations” against people connected to HLS. He went hunt sabbing and attended animal rights gatherings in the UK. On a number of occasions he was arrested. Clarke supposedly had an on/off relationship with a Scandinavian woman who occasionally visited him in the UK. In late 2005 he said he was moving to Norway to be with her as she was pregnant. He told activists “don’t try and look me up” and left the movement the following year.

ADRIAN RADFORD

Radford was a data analyst, who infiltrated SHAC on behalf of the British police. His ruthless ambition, combined with the state’s crusade to eradicate a movement, created a perfect storm which resulted in many lawful activists being sent to prison.

He formed an ‘Animal Liberation Front’ (ALF) cell, and carried out a number of serious crimes, which were used as justification for rounding up SHAC activists in the largest animal rights case ever tried.

Radford’s role was not disclosed at trial despite his involvement in phone calls to HLS customers, newsletter creation, and research documents which were heavily relied on in court. Requests to the then Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer were turned down, and he maintains, “there is no reason to doubt the safety of [their] convictions.” What are the police and public prosecutors trying to hide?  

When Adrian left the animal rights movement, he pretended to have a terminal illness. He now works as a hypnotherapist, and owns a pet shop in Hitchin. Read more about Adrian’s role here.

ADRIAN RADFORD

Radford was a data analyst, who infiltrated SHAC on behalf of the British police. His ruthless ambition, combined with the state’s crusade to eradicate a movement, created a perfect storm which resulted in many lawful activists being sent to prison.

He formed an ‘Animal Liberation Front’ (ALF) cell, and carried out a number of serious crimes, which were used as justification for rounding up SHAC activists in the largest animal rights case ever tried.

Radford’s role was not disclosed at trial despite his involvement in phone calls to HLS customers, newsletter creation, and research documents which were heavily relied on in court. Requests to the then Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer were turned down, and he maintains, “there is no reason to doubt the safety of [their] convictions.” What are the police and public prosecutors trying to hide?  

When Adrian left the animal rights movement, he pretended to have a terminal illness. He now works as a hypnotherapist, and owns a pet shop in Hitchin. Read more about Adrian’s role here.

CAN YOU HELP?

If you have any information that could assist SHAC activists with a potential appeal against their convictions, please contact us or our legal team directly. 

4 + 13 =