Welwyn Garden City Pcso denies leaking police information to press

16:31 09 March 2011

Archant

A HERTFORDSHIRE Pcso today (Wednesday) told a jury she had not leaked confidential police information to the press.

Policeman’s daughter Emma Smiter, 26, of Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, told a trial at Basildon Crown Court she had not illegally given information gleaned from Hertfordshire Police computers to a news agency journalist.

Smiter, who was a local newspaper reporter before joining Hertfordshire Police, said she had used police computers and e-mails only for legitimate reasons.

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

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

Smiter denies misconduct in a public office, unlawfully disclosing personal data and trying to pervert the course of justice.

Prosecutors say she gave information to Mr Hyde who then passed it on to newspapers.

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

She is also accused of passing on details about a charity box at a police station in Borehamwood, being ``£12 short’’.

Prosecutors say Smiter, who worked at the Welwyn Hatfield Times, between February 2005 to June 2007,

before becoming a Pcso, breached trust placed in her by the police and the public.

Jurors have also been told Smiter said some of the information found in newspapers had come from internet blogs - not police files.

But prosecutors allege Smiter created the blogs after being charged in an attempt to support her defence, mislead jurors and pervert the course of justice.

Smiter, who told the court that her father, Rod Reeves, was a senior officer with Hertfordshire Constabulary and had been in the police force for around 30 years, denies the allegation.

The trial continues and is expected to end next week.

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