A FORMER undercover cop at the centre of a national scandal admitted stealing a dead Plumstead child’s identity for his illicit activities.

Bob Lambert assumed the identity of Mark Robinson to carry out his top secret work for the Met’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS).

The real Mark Robinson was born in Plumstead and died in 1959, aged seven, of a congenital heart defect.

It comes after Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised for the "shock and offence" caused by officers taking deceased children’s identities as a report Operation Herne into the SDS was released on July 16.

He said: "I believe the public do understand the necessity for police and others to do things like this to protect against a much greater harm.

"It was never intended or foreseen that any of the identities used would become public, or that any family would suffer hurt as a result.

"At the time this method of creating identities was in use, officers felt this was the safest option."

Under the guise of ‘Bob Robinson’, from Plumstead, Mr Lambert posed as an animal rights campaigner and fathered a child with another protester under his alter-ego - while married with two children.

Operation Herne revealed officers typically leafed through the death register at St Catherine’s House to choose a child aged four to eight and would spend considerable time researching their subject.

They would then gain a false birth certificate and infiltrate "violent" protest groups - in a practice that police claim is now defunct.

Mark Robinson would have been a perfect match as he was born in 1952 - 16 days before Mr Lambert - and the dead child’s middle name Robert fitted with Bob Lambert’s own first name.

Lecturer Lambert was exposed as a former undercover cop by Greenpeace campaigners in 2011 and admitted the identity theft in a joint investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches and The Guardian newspaper.

The names of 42 dead children were used by undercover officers to create fake identities but Sir Bernard says families will not be told because of the risk to police.

Jules Carey, solicitor to Barbara Shaw, who fears her son Rod Richardson’s name was used as well as five people who were deceived into entering sexual relations with undercover officers said: “What we heard this morning [July 16] was not an apology but a PR exercise.

"The families of the dead children whose identities have been stolen by the undercover officers deserve better than this.

"They deserve an explanation, a personal apology and if appropriate a warning of the potential risk they face, in the exceptional circumstances, that their dead child’s identity was used to infiltrate serious criminal organisations.

“The harvesting of dead children’s identities was only one manifestation of the rot at the heart of these undercover units which had officers lie on oath, conduct smear campaigns and use sexual relationships as an evidence gathering tool.”