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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Accused ex-officer passed on information about work colleagues to Cumbria police

A retired police inspector says he shared sensitive information about workers at a manufacturing firm to “help tackle crime”.

Jason Robinson photo
Jason Robinson, left and George Nevins

Related: Policeman caused 'embarrassment' through alleged leak about criminal, Carlisle court told

George Nevins took to the witness stand to explain the series of phone calls he had with his former colleague and close friend Detective Sergeant Jason Robinson.

The pair are on trial at Carlisle Crown Court accused of unlawfully obtaining or disclosing personal data or information.

Nevins, an officer for 30 years, told jurors he had contacted Robinson about several employees at Thomas Armstrong Holdings Ltd, where he took on a role as security manager following his retirement from the force. He had concerns about some members of staff and either tipped Robinson off or requested information about them, the court heard.

But Nevins insisted he only did so only to assist in the “detection and prevention of crime”.

He said: “It was very clear from an early stage that I could be a valuable source of information to the police.”

Nevins added that he was aware of a Cumbria Constabulary policy allowing information sharing between police and outside agencies and companies on an “ad hoc” basis.

Nevins revealed he had shared information about four members of staff who he had investigated over claims they had verbally abused another man.

He rang Robinson to “alert” him in case anything similar happened outside the factory. He also gave Robinson information about a man who applied for a job at the company because he recognised his name from a raid on a brothel during his time as a police officer in Maryport.

Nevins also had concerns about another employee who worked in a factory where a worker had earlier been killed after being crushed by industrial equipment, jurors were told.

He said there had been suggestions the man “had been under the influence of something” and as a result he later instigated drug testing in the factory to avoid any further deaths.

Nevins admitted contacting Robinson to ask for information about the man. And Nevins asked Robinson whether another worker, who was a driver at the company, had been banned from driving.

Nevins also said he didn’t know what Robinson had done with any information he had supplied to him.

Robinson, 41, of St Andrews Road, Stainburn, and Nevins, 61, of Moorlands Drive, Stainburn, deny unlawfully obtaining or disclosing personal data or information.

Robinson has also pleaded not guilty to misconduct in a public office.

The trial continues.

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