Police receptionist represented by Rachael Woods spared jail after accessing computer data
October 11, 2019
A police receptionist represented by Rachael Woods from Exchange Chambers has been spared jail after accessing her force’s confidential database.
Ex-prison warder, Jacqueline Wilson, 52, made checks on police investigations after former workmate Jacqueline Goosey, 52, asked her for information about relatives.
There was no suggestion she had access to any sensitive intelligence about crime.
At Preston Crown Court, Wilson and Goosey admitted a charge of unauthorised access to computer data.
Wilson was sentenced to six months jail suspended for two years. Goosey was given eight months imprisonment suspended for two years. Both were also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
In mitigation for Wilson, Rachael Woods said there are differences between a serving police officer and a desk clerk – she was limited in what she could do and her motivation was to help her friend who “clearly had a complicated family background”.
“Any enquiries that were made by Wilson was at the behest of the co-defendant and she was aware there was some form of police involvement with various members of her family,” she added. “In her mind she thought what she was doing was confirming the information that her co-defendant had already found. She thought she was simply helping a friend.
“The defendant had very limited training to perform this new job to begin with. She would sit at her desk at the start of her shift at a new police station and she would access the computer to see what was going on from the night before.
“An analogy is like somebody checking their Facebook account. The defendant was oblivious to the warning signs, that what she was doing had to be for specific legitimate policing purposes.
“There was no attempt to thwart the investigations and there was a trail left on the logging system and a trail left on both of their phones.”
Rachael Woods was instructed by Bridgette Hibbert at Farleys Solicitors.