Search

Camden sergeant who used police database to snoop on lover walks free from court

15:17 05 September 2014

Sgt Christopher Scott walks free from Westminster Magistrates Court. Picture: 

Jamie Lorriman/Central News

Sgt Christopher Scott walks free from Westminster Magistrates Court. Picture: Jamie Lorriman/Central News

Jamie Lorriman/Central News

A sergeant who used the police’s national database to snoop on his new lover and gain unauthorised information during a period of “emotional turmoil” has walked free from court.

Christopher Scott, 44, was working as a supervisor on the Safer Neighbourhoods community police team in Swiss Cottage when he accessed police records on his lover Margaret Knight.

The suspicions of another officer were aroused when Mrs Knight was cautioned for harassing her former husband by text and Scott, who was not working the case, appeared to know privileged information.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard that Scott gained details about his girlfriend’s husband and her son’s friends, believing they may have been drug dealers.

He also used privileged information to check on his car rather than ringing his insurance company.

Yesterday district judge Howard Riddle sentenced Scott to 12 months community service after he previously pleaded guilty to six charges of accessing unauthorised data from the police computer.

The judge said: “I do accept that there was no corrupt motive, I have been assured and again accept that what you did did not interfere with police investigations into any matter and indeed there is no evidence that the information was passed on to anyone else.

“It is frankly bizarre behaviour and I accept there was considerable emotional turmoil in your life which may or may not explain it.”

The sergeant met Mrs Knight on a dating website and later went to a police station with her on July 19 last year, where she was handed a caution for harassment relating to her ex-husband.

Scott appeared to know information that raised the suspicions of another officer and an investigation was carried out by the Directorate of Professional Standards.

An audit showed a ‘number of people’ accessing the report on Mrs Knight’s case.

Prosecutor Robert Simpson said: “Sgt Scott could be seen on four separate occasions accessing the report.

“It was then suspected that a number of enquiries were being carried out by him which appeared to be unlawful.”

Scott mined the Police National Computer (PNC) for information about his new girlfriend and his former partner after she had split up with him.

In one instance he checked on his car insurance after finding out his ex-girlfriend had used his name for tickets.

Defence lawyer Robert Morris said Scott was suffering from depression at the time of the charges and was struggling to cope with the death of his parents and the end of the 11-year relationship.

“He has thrown away his career, he has put himself into more financial difficulty,’ he said.

“This all stems from curiosity, which is out of the fact that Mr Scott was dealing with deep problems of trust and depression at the time.”

The judge accepted Scott was “a man of good character” but said “it would be inconceivable if he were to keep his job”.

“These were repeated breaches of trust occurring over a period of time as a police officer,” he said.

“There is a particular onus on you to respect the law and people would be alarmed that privacy is being invaded in this way by access to a computer system when you had no right to do so.”

Scott, of Kennel Lane, Billericay, Essex, was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £60.

He remains suspended from duty as a police officer pending an Internal Disciplinary Board.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Anger over the proposed cycle-superhighway CS-11 has fuelled calls for Hampstead to become an independent parish council, granting the area planning powers separate from Camden.

The breakfast supervisor, who worked for the chain since 1996, has also received a written apology after being ‘bullied and harassed’

Change is afoot in Highgate as a consultation on a new Neighbourhood Plan opens

Hampstead High Street and Muswell Hill Broadway could lose their Maison Blanc stores under a review that has been launched into the high-end patisserie chain.

07:00

Crime campaigners fear gang warfare is spilling onto the leafy streets of Hampstead and Belsize Park after two shootings and a knife attack this month.

Yesterday, 14:39

Staff will trace Lord Lauderdale’s steps on the journey he may have taken to visit his mistress before Lauderdale House opens once more

Yesterday, 12:12

The mixed pond on Hampstead Heath will be ‘women only’ for two weeks in October after management confirmed the ladies’ pond will close so that work can be carried out.

Yesterday, 09:57

Police were called at around 23.20pm to reports of a gunshot last week but there have been no arrests made so far

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now