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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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

A policeman caused “professional embarrassment” when he allegedly leaked information about a high profile criminal.

Jason Robinson photo
Jason Robinson, left and George Nevins

Related: Cumbrian police officers ‘never heard colleague pass on information’

Detective Inspector Nicholas Coughlan, from Cumbria police’s Public Protection Unit, said the information Jason Robinson is accused of sharing with George Nevins was “not sanctioned and not normal procedure”.

In a statement read out at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday DI Coughlan added that there was, however, “no adverse outcome” other than “professional embarrassment”.

Detective Sergeant Robinson is charged with passing details about the parole hearing of a woman from Seascale convicted following the death of her child.

Robinson, 41, allegedly leaked information about Michelle Dickinson, who was jailed nearly a decade ago for child cruelty, to retired police inspector and long-standing friend Nevins, 61.

Both men face a separate charge of conspiring to unlawfully obtain or disclose personal information and are on trial before a jury.

Jurors heard how Nevins, who was Robinson’s best man and godfather to his children, would phone the office frequently soon after his retirement to pass on information. Nevins would make Robinson’s fellow officers uncomfortable because of the regularity of his calls.

The issue was raised with Robinson and it was decided that he should be Nevins’ single point of contact from then on.

The court also heard that another of Robinson’s former colleagues, DC Andrew McCourt, came across some information about Michelle Dickinson’s parole hearing on the force’s internal Sleuth system.

DC McCourt emailed the details to Robinson who then, the court heard, forwarded the email onto Nevins, who had been heavily involved in the case at the time.

In a statement read in court, Emily Kirkbride, Michelle Dickinson’s probation worker, said that any information about her being disclosed to a third party or the media could have a “significant impact on her personal safety”.

Robinson, of St Andrews Road, Stainburn, and Nevins, 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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