On 3rd October 2014, after three years of preparation for this moment, Philip Kerr issued his claim in the High Court of Justice against MI5, under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997. Mr Kerr seeks an injunction restraining MI5 from harassing him.
Philip has evidence that MI5 has harassed him more-or-less continuously, in many different ways, for more than twelve years. He understands that he has been harassed because of his past associations with various underworld figures, including the late Colin Smith and the convicted drug-trafficker Curtis Warren. Philip is being punished extra-judicially for having been unwilling to work for MI5 as an informer when pressured to do so, in 2003 and subsequently. He has been directly approached by agents representing MI5 on several occasions.
Is Philip making all this up?
Absolutely not! There are witnesses additional to Philip, of incidents of each type of harassment that Philip has observed himself.
What forms has the harassment of Philip taken?
This is a classic case of alleged systematic, organised stalking/harassment, of a targeted individual, by a public sector perpetrator. Here is a brief list of the main types of harassment that Mr Kerr has suffered.
Harassment peculiar to Philip:
- Actual and attempted entrapment
- Overt and cryptic attempts to recruit Philip as an informer
- Abduction, false imprisonment and drugging (in 2003 only)
- Independently witnessed deployment of a trained bird or birds to inflict noise (in 2003-6 in the UK and in 2009-12 in Thailand)
Harassment common to Philip and other harassment victims:
- Overt surveillance (typically intrusive)
- Literal stalking (i.e. being followed etc, including three incidents involving low-flying helicopters)
- “Theatre” – for example many contrived conversations calculated to deliver cryptic messages, displays of props (e.g. dead rats)
- Sabotage (especially of trees in Philip’s gardens)
- Entry to Philip’s homes and private vehicles, evidenced by the moving or removal of contents, or the leaving of items as “calling cards”, switching on or off of lights, opening and closing of curtains or windows, etc
- Installation of foreign electrical equipment (photographed) in Philip’s home in Wirral
- Noise, including incongruous sound effects (heard by witnesses in addition to Philip and even captured on sound recordings)
- Sleep deprivation
- Interference with the output of radio and television receivers
- Interference with email, telephony etc, including carefully timed imitation spam, silent, threatening or abusive phone calls, and so on
- Interference with domestic and in-vehicle appliances, especially lighting
Why isn’t this case being heard in secret?
Because it is being brought under The Protection From Harassment Act, rather than the Human Rights Act. The appropriate court is therefore the High Court, not the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. MI5 have already tried unsuccessfully to strike out Philip’s claim without a public hearing. This case is going to be heard in open court, at least as regards the legal arguments in the initial stages.