Belfast Telegraph

Man named as Army agent Stakeknife sued over 1970s child sex abuse claims

Investigated: Freddie Scappaticci
Investigated: Freddie Scappaticci

By Suzanne Breen, political editor

A man widely named as the Army's notorious agent Stakeknife is being sued for allegedly sexually assaulting a Belfast woman when she was a child.

Former leading Provisional IRA member Freddie Scappaticci was last month convicted by a London court of possessing extreme animal porn.

The Irish News yesterday reported that it had seen court papers accusing the former member of the IRA's internal security unit of assaulting the woman between 1976 and 1978.

It is understood she was a teenager at the time and the allegations were reported to police.

The woman is claiming for personal injury, loss and damages. It was reported that the woman is also claiming damages from the PSNI Chief Constable and the Home Secretary.

While Stakeknife was handled by the Army, the police and MI5 may also have had knowledge of his role.

The newspaper reported that 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 claim is also made on the grounds that the police allegedly failed to investigate the abuse.

When contacted by the Belfast Telegraph last night, a PSNI spokesman said: "We do not comment on named individuals and no inference should be drawn from this."

Scappaticci was sentenced to three months in custody suspended for a year after being on charges relating to least 329 images some of which involved animals.

In 2003 he was widely named as the agent Stakeknife, but he has always strongly denied the allegation.

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher is currently leading an investigation into the agent's activities.

The probe is centred on possible crimes by paramilitaries, agents and Army and police handlers linked to Stakeknife, allegedly the military's highest-ranking spy within the IRA.

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