Spycop survivor “Andrea” reclaims her real name
The woman known as “Andrea” – who was tricked into a relationship with spycop Carlo Neri – has reclaimed her real name.
Donna McLean, who lives in Folkestone in Kent, and describes herself as an activist-writer-mental health worker and mum, told union-news: “I made the decision as it became exhausting living two lives and maintaining two identities.”
Donna met Neri at an anti-war demonstration in London in 2002. Within six weeks he had moved in with her; three months later they were engaged. But he began spending a lot of time away and in 2004 he sent Donna an email saying: “I never want to see you again, I can’t cope with this.”
Five years ago Donna realised he had been living two separate lives. Carlo Neri was an undercover police officer, a father of one, whose wife was pregnant with his second child whilst he lived with Donna.
Later that year she applied to join the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing and, after a temporary court anonymity order was put in place to protect her real identity, was known as ‘Andrea’. The order became permanent in 2017 until yesterday, when her application to have it revoked was accepted by the Inquiry’s chair Sir John Mitting.
On Twitter, Donna wrote: “After five years of feeling compelled to hide my identity, I’ve made the decision to reclaim my name from those who stole my trust and my life. Truth is power. Love and solidarity.”
Donna – then known as Andrea – wrote two stories for union-news in 2017. The first told of how she fell in love with a spycop , the second demanded the truth.
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