The Guardian reports that an animal rights activist is due to be sentenced for her part in a conspiracy to blackmail the commercial testing firm, Huntingdon Life Sciences. The case has attracted some controversy as the activist, Debbie Vincent, has claimed that she is a "scapegoat" targeted because detectives could not catch the "real culprits" who have terrorised the company and its suppliers. There has been criticism that the use of the blackmail conspiracy charge could be exploited to clamp down on legitimate protest (see more here, here and here). Her trial however has also shone a spotlight on how police used a particular undercover tactic to convict her. Using a pseudonym, a police officer went undercover and pretended to be a manager in a multinational firm's corporate security department. He passed himself off as a bona fide employee in meetings, emails and telephone calls.
Again as in the Stephen Lawrence case the spotlight is on undercover policing. Police are running amok in this fashion because of the failure, and even connivance of some judges, to look into Police actions during trials, particularly in relation to disclosure of prosecution material to the defence. Police take advantage of a weak and sympathetic, biased judiciary.