A police sergeant forced to resign for doing a favour for “the friend of a friend” has been freed after his nine-month jail term was suspended for three years.
Judge David Smyth told 47-year-old Barry McKelvey it was not in the public interest to immediately jail him.
The Downpatrick Crown Court judge said that McKelvey, who was also fined £1,000, had not gained financially .
In a career which was otherwise exemplary and commendable he had “unfortunately and for some reason that is impossible to understand” committed these offences, the judge said.
The court heard that McKelvey had entered false details on a PSNI 55/9 form, concerning the production of a driving licence and other motoring matters, and later obtaining information from a police computer without permission.
Prosecution lawyer Peter Sefton said that the offences arose out of a motorist being stopped at a checkpoint and ordered to produce a number of documents.
A week later McKelvey filled out the relevant forms and told the investigating officer that no further police action was needed.