Lesbian PCSO jailed for tip-off to suspect

A police community support officer from Wrexham in Wales sentenced to 10 months in prison for leaking confidential information to lesbian friends

Lesbian PCSO jailed for tip-off to suspect
17 April 2012

A lesbian Police Community Support Officer from Wrexham in Wales has been jailed for 10 months for leaking confidential information to friends.

Mold Crown Court heard how Lisa Stapley, 39, sent a text message to a friend wanted for assault telling her to get out of town because the police were looking for her, the BBC reported.

She also accessed police computers and passed on information to others in the town's 'tight-knit' lesbian community.

Yesterday (16 April), Stapley admitted four charges of misconduct in public office and Judge Philip Hughes called the decision to help her friend evade the police a 'gross breach of trust'.

He added the court had a duty to not only punish her but to send a message to others who work in the police that 'such behavior is so serious that only immediate custody can be imposed.'

Defending Patrick Cassidy said his client was a lesbian, recruited by North Wales Police as part of its equality and diversity policy.

However, he said Stapley suffered from depression and in 2009 her civil partnership broke down and her mother died.

Mr Cassidy told the court: 'With the personality she has, the resolve she was expected to have weakened and she passed on bits of information.

'She tipped off a friend. It was done in the context of the tight-knit lesbian community she was very much a part of at that stage. It had been a significant misjudgement and Stapley, a woman of good character, had resigned.'

However, the defence claimed Stapley didn't take any payments for the information.

When she was interviewed, Stapley said she saw herself as an unofficial point of contact for the lesbian community in Wrexham.

After sentencing deputy chief constable Ian Shannon, said: 'This case demonstrates our resolve to thoroughly and rigorously investigate any instance where the integrity of our staff may be called into question.'

He added: 'In any case, where corruption is found, we will ensure that those responsible are brought to justice, as we have done in this case.'

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