Glasgow & West Scotland

Pc guilty of checking police system for criminal lover

A police officer has been convicted of unlawfully using police systems to look up information about his partner.

In 2007, Pc Steven Smith carried out a search on David Brydon and looked up a crime report for a theft in which he was suspected of being involved.

Smith, from Stepps in Lanarkshire, was acquitted of lying to another officer on behalf of Mr Brydon, after jurors found that charge not proven.

The 29-year-old was fined £1,000 for the Data Protection Act offence.

Sentencing the Strathclyde officer at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff John Beckett told him he was "substantially misguided" at the time of the offences.

He added: "You accessed information on two occasions without consent and without a known policing purpose. It is an abuse of trust and you did it for selfish personal reasons.

"I am, however, prepared to accept that you were substantially misguided at that time which is apparent from some of the letters which you wrote."

Smith was convicted of illegally accessing police systems on 30 March and 18 April 2007 but was cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice by lying to another officer.

He was caught out when police received a tip-off that he was associating with a known criminal and a check was carried out on the police system.

An audit trail revealed that he had searched for David Brydon on the Scottish Intelligence database and had looked at a crime report on the Strathclyde Police Crime Management System.

Defence advocate Geoffrey Forbes told the court that Smith and Mr Brydon were in an "intense" relationship at the time.

Mr Forbes said: "The intensity of their relationship was such that his judgement as to what was appropriate behaviour was significantly impaired.

"In the cold light of day he now recognises how foolish all the decisions that he made were.

"He's aware that he has let down the force, as well as his family, and it is likely that he will lose his employment as a result of this conviction."

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