Press leak Pcso from Welwyn Garden City guilty

A PCSO from Welwyn Garden City has today (Wednesday) been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office, over a series of press leaks.

Policeman’s daughter Emma Smiter (formerly Reeves) worked as a schools Pcso when she leaked the information from the police database in 2008.

She disclosed details of a stolen ambulance, an internal email from Hertfordshire Constabulary calling for officers to stump up �12, after a shortage was discovered in an ‘honesty box’, and the name of a member of the public who wrongly claimed police officers had parked in disabled bays at South Mimms service station.

Mum-of-one Smiter, 26, fed the information to Neil Hyde, a director of INS news agency, who then passed it on to national newspapers The Sun, The Mirror and The Observer.

She also sent Mr Hyde personal information on an attempted murder victim, details relating to a case of animal cruelty and a break-in on the set of EastEnders.

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She was convicted of attempting to scupper a previous trial, which had to be abandoned after two internet blogs, which she claimed were created on January 13, 2009 emerged, days before the information was leaked to the press.

But, it was proven the blogs were created by Smiter, during her abortive last trial in May last year, in a ruse to try and prove she was not the source of the press leaks.

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Two breaches of the Data Protection Act were also proven in relation to the leaks.

Smiter, of Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, had denied the charges but the jury of seven men and five women delivered the guilty verdict at Basildon Crown Court today (Wednesday).

Prosecutor Richard Scott said the police database was “for legitimate police work – not undercover journalism”.

Smiter, who worked at the Welwyn Hatfield Times between February 2005 and June 2007, will be sentenced next month.

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