Mother of murdered Ricky Reel to meet spycops judge over police surveillance of her family
The Mother of a student who died after a racist attack will today meet the chair of the spycops inquiry to seek answers about an officer who spied on her family. Sukhdev Reel will speak with John Mitting at the House of Commons to push for more details about undercover operative David Hagan, known as HN81. Hagan spied on the justice campaign set up after her son Ricky died following a night out in Kingston in October 1997.
He and his friends were attacked by two white men, but as they fought them off Ricky vanished. His body was found in the Thames a week later.
Police investigating his death said it was likely to have been an accident, but Ms Reel wants to know whether the police operation spying on her family took vital resources away from the investigation.
She said: “The inquiry for us is important because we need to know how much of the damage to the initial investigation was because of spying.
“The money they spent on spying they should have used looking for Ricky’s killers.
“The public has a right to know if the investigation was bungled because police officers were there to spy and not to investigate Ricky’s death.”
Ms Reel also said she needed more information than just the officer’s cover name, saying: “Just a name in isolation is meaningless. It could be anybody’s name.
“We feel that, for the undercover name to mean anything to us after so much time has elapsed, we need to know more — photographs, who he reported to, access to all the original files held on the family members and the campaign.”
Ms Reel, who will be accompanied by her local MP, shadow chancellor John McDonnell, said she was meeting Mr Mitting “with an open mind” and hoped he would “listen to us and maybe answer some of our concerns.
“My children were very young at the time. Did the police officers who were spying come to my house? Did they spy on my children? Who knows?”
She said she also wanted to know why her family had attracted police attention, insisting: “We were not doing anything unusual. All we were doing was asking for them to investigate our son’s murder and that was all — that was our basic right.”