Saturday, February 05, 2011

Scots Police face epidemic of secrets leaked to suspects & criminals : Tayside Police Officer admits she leaked secret information to her lover

Hardly a week goes by where it seems there is a new case of a Police Officer leaking or sharing sensitive or secret information with lovers, suspects, criminals and even, members of the legal profession.

In the latest incident, a married female Police Officer has pled guilty to leaking sensitive Police information to “her lover”, who then passed the information onto a suspect in a counterfeiting probe ... reports the Daily Record newspaper :

Love-triangle police constable: I leaked secret cop info to my lover

Feb 5 2011 Kurt Bayer

A MARRIED woman cop pled guilty yesterday to leaking sensitive police information to her lover.

Constable Karen Howie, whose husband is a policeman, started an affair with a tradesman who did up her bathroom and began feeding him secrets from the police computer.

And her lover, Neil Hand, 44, passed the information to a suspect in a counterfeiting probe.

The court heard Howie's crime had brought her 18-year police career "crashing down around her". She has now resigned from the Tayside force.

Howie, 34, made several phone calls to Hand over two days in August 2009 after trawling the police computer for information on the suspect.

In one call, she gave her lover details of a plan to search the man's home.

When police questioned the suspect over alleged counterfeit money in Arbroath, Angus, he repaid Howie by giving the cops her name. The court heard he tried to use her as "leverage" to help himself.

Investigators then checked the police computer and confirmed that Howie had looked at information on the man "on several occasions".

Quizzed by her colleagues, Howie, who was based at Kirriemuir, at first denied leaking information.

But she later admitted she began seeing Hand after he worked at her home in May 2009.

She said her marriage was in trouble and she was lonely and depressed.

Prosecutor Catriona Dalrymple said: "Howie indicated she felt some pressure to provide information to Neil Hand."

Howie, of Carnoustie, Angus, appeared with Hand at Dundee Sheriff Court to admit two charges of perverting the course of justice and one of breaching the Data Protection Act.

Hand, also of Carnoustie, admitted one Data Protection Act charge of receiving information from Howie and passing it on.

The court heard that Howie also falsified records after police pulled Hand over in July 2009, to suggest that he had valid car insurance.

Howie's lawyer, Gavin Anderson, said his client was suffering from stress and was on medication.

He added: "Her parents are in court today and are supportive of her.

"She has explained to me that her world has fallen apart over this. In a matter of months, her career came crashing down around her."

Sheriff Elizabeth Munro deferred sentence for reports.

Tayside Police said they would "vigorously investigate" all cases where their staff "betrayed public trust" by revealing confidential information.

A spokeswoman said of Howie: "We will await details of her sentencing with interest."

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