Monday, 18 April 2011

Ex-journalist jailed for leaking police info to press

A Hertfordshire police community support officer who had previously worked as a journalist has been jailed for a year for leaking confidential information to the INS news agency, BBC News reports.

Emma Smiter, 26, of Welwyn Garden City, was found guilty of misconduct in a public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Basildon Crown Court was told she passed on information gleaned from police computers to the news agency.

The former reporter with the Welwyn and Hatfield Times had denied the charges and said she used police computers and e-mails only for legitimate reasons. She told the court she knew Neil Hyde, a director of the INS news agency, but said they had been "just friends".

Prosecutors told the court she gave details of police inquiries to Hyde, who passed the information on to newspapers.

One accusation was that she told the news agency about a charity box at a police station in Borehamwood being £12 short.

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