Welwyn Garden City PCSO denies leaking to reporter

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A Hertfordshire police community support officer has told a jury she did not leak details of an attempted murder inquiry to a reporter.

Emma Smiter, of Welwyn Garden City, denies misconduct in a public office.

The 26-year-old former journalist told Basildon Crown Court she had not passed on information gleaned from police computers to the news agency INS.

Ms Smiter also denies unlawfully disclosing personal data and trying to pervert the course of justice.

Ms Smiter said she used police computers and e-mails only for legitimate reasons.

She told jurors she knew Neil Hyde, a director of the INS news agency, but said they had been "just friends".

She said she had not passed confidential police information to him.

Breach of trust

Prosecutors claim she gave details of police inquiries to Mr Hyde who then passed it on to newspapers.

They allege information Ms Smiter passed on about an inquiry into an allegation of attempted murder appeared in The Sun and Daily Mirror newspapers.

She is also accused of telling the news agency about a charity box at a police station in Borehamwood being "£12 short".

Prosecutors said Ms Smiter, who was a reporter with the Welwyn and Hatfield Times before working for the police, breached the trust placed in her by the police and the public.

Jurors have also heard Ms Smiter claimed some of the information found in newspapers had come from internet blogs - not police files.

The prosecution alleges she created the blogs after being charged in an attempt to support her defence, mislead jurors and pervert the course of justice.

Ms Smiter, who told the court that her father, Rod Reeves, was a senior officer with Hertfordshire Police and had been in the police service for about 30 years, denies the allegations.

The case continues.

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