How an MI5's involvement in a sex-scandal led to a high-speed car chase through LondonBy Jason Lewis
Last updated at 11:05 AM on 08th June 2008
An MI5 agent's involvement in the Max Mosley sex scandal was unmasked after an extraordinary sequence of cloak and dagger events that can be revealed for the first time today.
His exposure came after a car chase through London, fears of a terrorist plot and a sophisticated surveillance operation by detectives working for former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens, the man who headed the inquiry into the death of Princess Diana.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that the MI5 officer's connection emerged after he was targeted by a surveillance team from Lord Stevens's investigation firm Quest.
The firm had been hired by motor racing chief Mosley, 68, to identify who was behind newspaper revelations that he had paid five prostitutes to take part in a five-hour bondage session.
So days after the damaging disclosures, when the MI5 man left his home in Milton Keynes, where he lived with his wife, the professional dominatrix known as Mistress Abi who was at the centre of the affair, he was followed by the detectives.
But the highly trained officer, alert for danger because of his sensitive role tracking terror suspects, spotted the tail and put in an urgent call to MI5's duty officer. MI5 immediately feared that a major antiterrorist operation had been compromised, potentially putting agents lives at risk.
It put its staff on high alert and deployed all the sophisticated counter-surveillance methods at its disposal to identify the source of the threat.
A team at MI5's headquarters at Thames House, near the House of Commons, began to track the £30,000-a-year surveillance officer's route looking for evidence that he was being tailed.
With access to feeds from traffic cameras and sophisticated number plate recognition equipment, the team was quickly able to identify the vehicle following their colleague as belonging to Quest, the company headed by Lord Stevens that carried out the Premier League investigation into 'bungs' in football transfers.
The Quest team apparently followed their target to Thames House. It was only then that they realised he was a Security Service officer.
High-level discussions between MI5 and Quest bosses - thought to include Lord Stevens himself and Security Service chief Jonathan Evans - followed, in an effort to ensure that no anti-terrorist operations had been put at risk.
Yesterday a spokesman for Quest said it was company policy 'never to discuss client matters'.
The MI5 officer was later forced to resign after it was revealed that his wife - a 38-year-old mother-of-two who charged £120 an hour for her services - had secretly filmed the bondage session, using a camera hidden in her bra, and sold it to a newspaper.
Investigations by The Mail on Sunday raise new questions about the background to the sordid affair. Official sources said that the officer, a former Royal Marine commando, had kept his bosses in the dark about his relationship with Mistress Abi and failed to inform MI5 when the couple married in August last year.
Neither Mistress Abi nor her husband could be contacted by The Mail on Sunday last week.
But a source with detailed knowledge of the disgraced officer's work at MI5 said he had made no secret of what his wife did for a living.
He said the officer had regularly bragged about her activities and even showed colleagues pornographic pictures of her on a website advertising her services.
Guests at the couple's church wedding in Milton Keynes also dispute MI5 claims not to have known he had married. They say several of his 'work colleagues' had attended the reception and 'heckled loudly' during the speeches.
It is still unclear why MI5's routine vetting procedures failed to unearth Mistress Abi activities.
Her personal website - removed from the internet in the wake of the Mosley affair - gives a full breakdown of her specialities', which include caning or flogging ('light to severe'), face-slapping and even 'blackmail'. It also shows pictures of her in military uniforms similar to those she and the four other prostitutes wore during their five-hour session with Mosley, who is the son of the wartime British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.
The website was designed by Simon Edwards, a film director who makes promotional films for BT and Land Rover and is currently trying to raise the money to start work on his first feature film, called Legion --Dawn Of Evil, a horror movie which is set in ancient Rome.
He said last night: 'She is a long-time friend of mine and I designed the website for her as a favour when she first decided to become a professional dominatrix.'
He said that he had met Mistress Abi's husband on only a few occasions but knew he had been in the Marines and 'worked in surveillance'.
He added: 'I think they met at some kind of holiday camp when she was away with her two children. I'm sure she would have told him very early on about what she did for a living - she's always been very upfront about it.'
Last night, Whitehall sources said the Mosley scandal had led to a major review of the MI5's vetting procedures.
Mosley has begun court proceedings for invasion of privacy over the revelations and a High Court judge has issued an order banning the identification of any of the five prostitutes involved in the case.
EXCLUSIVE: MI5 officer whose wife was exposed as a prostitute in Max Mosley orgy says the ordeal has devastated their livesBy Jason Lewis
Last updated at 2:43 AM on 20th July 2008
The spy was forced to resign after confessing he was married to the ‘professional dominatrix’, who secretly videoed the sex session with the F1 motor racing boss and sold details to a newspaper.
The former £30,000-a-year mobile surveillance officer – who tracked terror suspects – said he quit to spare his bosses embarrassment.
He would not discuss how much he knew about his wife’s involvement in setting up the sting against Mosley, or if he played any part.
Nor would he be drawn on why, as has been claimed, he kept his MI5 bosses in the dark about his wife and her ‘job’.
The man, who cannot be named for security and legal reasons, said: ‘You know what has happened to me. And you know what has happened to xxx [my wife].
'It has had a devastating effect on xxx [my wife] and a reasonably bad effect on me.’
Known only as Woman E in the High Court privacy case brought by Mosley over the affair, his wife was excused from giving evidence due to her ‘emotional and mental state’.
He said: ‘Our parents only found out what xxx [his wife] did for a living from reading the papers. It’s caused problems and hurt.
‘Now I have got to look after myself and my wife and get the best out of a bad situation.
'I’m not going to moan about it and get myself in a worse position than I am already in.
He described the moment he finally owned up to bosses about his wife’s ‘job’ and the sex session with Mosley, published in the News of the World.
He said: ‘They just went mental, particularly regarding the tape.
‘I loved my work but I wanted to cause as little embarrassment as I possibly could, so I decided to resign quietly.
'I could have stuck it out, I could have got round it, I think.
‘Now I have just got to be very careful. There is a lot I could say, a lot that has not come out, but I don’t want to get into it because I don’t want to get in the cack with work.’
He said: ‘The first thing people are going to do is write for a reference and if I speak out they could say I’m not getting one.’
The ex-Royal Marine commando added: ‘I never had trouble misleading people about what I did. I like people thinking I’m boring.
'I thought it quite amusing. In some ways it was the same with my wife. Do you think she told people what she does?’
He was exposed when a surveillance team from former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens’ investigation firm Quest tailed him from his home near Milton Keynes to MI5’s Thames House headquarters.
It is still unclear why MI5’s routine vetting failed to unearth the activities of the spy’s wife.
Her personal website – now taken down – gives a full breakdown of her ‘specialities’, which include caning or flogging.
It also shows her in military uniforms similar to those she and four other prostitutes wore during their session with Mosley, son of wartime fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.
Many of the website pictures were clearly taken at the couple’s home.
The racing boss denies News of the World claims that the orgy was Nazi themed.
Mr Justice Eady has reserved judgment in proceedings for invasion of privacy brought by Mosley.
The European Court of Human Rights rejected his attempt to force a change in UK privacy laws.
A seven-judge panel ruled that would have a "chilling effect" on journalism.
Mr Mosley has applied for an appeal hearing before a 17-judge grand chamber of the same court - the last legal avenue open to him.)