PSNI officer accessed information ‘outside chain of command’

PSNI
PSNI

A senior PSNI officer allegedly abused his position to gain unauthorised access to police systems about incidents involving an ex-mistress and rogue builders harassing his elderly parents, a court heard on Thursday.

Prosecution counsel claimed Iain Hall, 52, went outside the organisation’s chain of command by involving himself in ongoing investigations.

Mr Hall, a chief inspector with 33 years policing experience, is charged with 11 counts of unauthorised access to material logged on the PSNI’s command and control serials.

He denies the alleged offences, with his lawyer arguing there is no evidence he knew his actions lacked the necessary clearance.

The system is used to log reports of incidents made to the force.

Mr Hall, whose address was given as PSNI Knocknagoney in Belfast, appeared at the city’s Magistrates’ Court for a contested hearing into incidents said to have taken place during 2012 and 2013.

Eoin Macdonald, prosecuting, said some of them involved command and control serials linked to the defendant’s ex-mistress.

It was claimed she wanted to know if her property was secure.

Other charges are connected to a fight at Lisburn Leisureplex in Co Antrim while Mr Hall was there in his role as a scout leader.

He was said to be a witness to events in the aftermath of the alleged assault.

The police officer is also accused of accessing the system without authority over suspicious activity in the area near his elderly parent’s home in Belfast.

They had been suffering harassment at the hands of “cowboy traders”, the court heard.

Defence counsel Malcolm Irvine argued that his client has no case to answer and should be acquitted.

He branded some of the evidence against his client “a shambles” and suggested the prosecution case had a “general sloppiness”

Following submissions Judge Henderson reserved her decision on whether Mr Hall has a case to answer.