Court told of police officer's CCTV deception
Published 11/10/2011 | 04:15
A police officer allegedly tried to seize CCTV footage from a mobile phone shop in a bid to stop his ex-partner finding out he had sent her a series of texts, the High Court has heard.
He is accused of posing as part of a team investigating her complaint so that he could obtain a hard drive from the store at the Meadows Shopping Centre in Portadown.
The officer, who has more than 20 years of service but cannot be identified, claimed his actions were “a moment of madness”, a judge was told.
He is facing a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice in connection with the alleged behaviour.
His legal team are seeking to judicially review the Chief Constable's failure to delay internal disciplinary proceedings until after the criminal case is finished.
His barrister Peter Girvan, instructed by Hilary Carmichael Solicitors, has argued that any potential self-incrimination could threaten his right to a fair trial under European law.
Peter Coll, appearing for the PSNI, rejected submissions that there was any threat of prejudice.
He set out statements from the officer, who is suspended on full pay, which refer to how the text messages to his ex-partner were trying to “get the truth out of her”.
He was said to have stated: “I suppose I was playing mind games and I'm deeply ashamed of that.”
It is alleged that after she reported the incident to police he went to the store where the SIM card was purchased and posed as part of the investigation team.
According to the case against him, he tried to take CCTV recordings and a hard drive from the shop and the centre.
In interviews the officer was alleged to have stated that his motivation was to stop his ex-partner getting hurt.
Mr Coll told the court: “The mainstay of the PSNI position is there is no actual prejudice to this man because he has already made the factual admissions that he has.”
Mr Justice Treacy had previously granted an emergency, temporary injunction to stop a disciplinary hearing from going ahead. He said yesterday that he had not been aware of the alleged admissions.
The judge fully accepted that no attempt had been made to withhold information from the court.
However, he adjourned the case until later this month to allow the PSNI to file a further affidavit setting out its position.