April 14, 2022 5.30 pm

Suspended Lincolnshire special constable convicted over computer misuse

He was given a suspended sentence

A suspended special constable from Lincolnshire Police has been convicted of five charges relating to misusing computers to access secure programmes and data.

Dominic Watson, 26, from Wainfleet, is a special constable based in Skegness. He appeared at Boston Magistrates Court on March 22, facing five charges of alleged offences between October 2019 and July 2020.

The allegations related to Watson accessing records of five members of the public and conducting a PNC vehicle check after an acquaintance of his was involved in a road rage incident.

At an earlier hearing the defence requested an adjournment saying they had not been able to advise Mr Watson as they had not seen any papers relating to the case.

However, the magistrates were critical that he had not consulted a solicitor earlier, and that the solicitors had not taken enough steps to obtain the papers from the prosecution.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday, April 13 and he was told he must enter a plea at that hearing.

A guilty plea was indicated for each of the five charges which were all offences of ’cause a computer to perform a function to secure/enable unauthorised access to a programme/data’.

Mr Watson was convicted of all five charges and given a nine-month term of imprisonment suspended for two years.

He must complete 200 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £156.

Lincolnshire Police said Mr Watson is currently suspended from duty while an internal process is underway following the conclusion of the criminal case.

Chief Inspector Simon Outen, of Lincolnshire Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “It’s hugely upsetting and disappointing that one of our own officers has chosen to behave in this way and has broken the very laws he is meant to uphold.

“We’re satisfied with the sentence and decision of the courts and hope this sends a strong message to the public which tells them how committed we are to rooting out any behaviour of this kind and holding people responsible.”