Northern Ireland news

Stakeknife: British agent Freddie Scappaticci faces child sex abuse lawsuit

Freddie Scappaticci pictured at an IRA funeral in 1987
Connla Young

 

A BELFAST woman is suing British agent Freddie Scappaticci for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a child.

Court papers seen by The Irish News reveal that the IRA member is accused of assaulting the woman between 1976 and 1978. She is claiming for personal injury, loss and damages.

The woman is believed to have been a teenager at the time. It is understood the allegations were reported to police.

A PSNI spokesman said: “We do not comment on named individuals and no inference should be drawn from this.”

Details of the court action come just weeks after Scappaticci, who is believed to be the agent Stakeknife, was convicted of possessing extreme pornographic material in a London court.

The woman is also claiming damages from the PSNI chief constable and the secretary of state for the Home Department, which has responsibility for the Home Office.

Although Stakeknife is believed to have been handled by the British army, police and MI5 may also have had knowledge of his role.

The claim against the chief constable is for personal injury, loss and damages by negligence and misfeasance in public office in causing or permitting the abuse. The woman is also claiming on the grounds that police failed to investigate the abuse.

It is claimed that Scappaticci was a key member of the IRA’s internal security unit and was involved in interrogating dozens of suspected informers, some of whom were later killed.

Before Christmas Scappaticci pleaded guilty to possessing disturbing images. Westminster Magistrates Court heard that the charges related to at least 329 images, many involving animals.

Officers from Operation Kenova – set up to investigate Stakeknife – discovered images after seizing a laptop which was on a living room coffee table when they searched Scappaticci’s home last January.

Prosecution papers obtained by The Irish News revealed that Scappaticci had a history of depression and had tried to take his own life.

He later claimed he viewed extreme pornography because he was feeling depressed and suicidal.

The woman’s solicitor, Kevin Winters of KRW Law, said: “As this case touches upon matters of huge sensitivity it wouldn’t be appropriate to go into any detail or comment other than to confirm the High Court action forms part of a wider series of themed litigation against the state and other parties.”

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