A PSNI employee has been charged with obtaining personal information of police officers, including a chief superintendent, without authorisation.
At Newtownards Magistrates’ Court, Sharon Porter (age unknown) was charged with 12 offences of unlawfully obtaining the personal data of 12 officers including a chief superintendent, without the consent of the data controller on various dates between May 8 and December 5 2012.
Defence barrister Chris Holmes told the court that Mrs Porter, who was not in attendance and whose address was given as c/o Knock Road PSNI station, is denying the offences and warned that her trial could take two weeks with “potentially 50 witnesses”.
Before that happens, however, Mr Holmes agreed there will be legal issues such as disclosure and possible Public Interest Immunity applications to be dealt with.
A prosecuting lawyer said the PPS would also be instructing their own barrister to conduct the case which is listed to begin on March 2.
District Judge Mark Hamill ordered that another district judge, “not a deputy”, be assigned to hear the case, and in listing the case for mention on February 19, firmly suggested the defence and prosecution consult “to grasp these nettles well on advance of the 2nd March”.