Chief inspector is jailed for 14 months after using police computer to look up confidential details for drug-dealing cleaner he was having affair with
- Chief Inspector Joseph Jones, 48, was jailed for misusing force’s computer
- The senior police officer, from Swansea, looked up details of woman’s tenants
- Crime was uncovered when she became involved in supply of Class A drugs
Chief Inspector Joseph Jones, 48, from Swansea, was jailed for 14 months for misusing the South Wales Police computer system
A shamed police chief was jailed for 14 months for misusing his force’s computer to search confidential details for a woman he was having an affair with.
Chief Inspector Joseph Jones, 48, from Swansea, used the South Wales Police computer system to get confidential details of a couple who were tenants of the woman.
A court heard cleaner Kelly Roberts had told Chief Inspector Jones that she was in dispute with the couple and wanted information on them.
Jones had been involved in a ‘brief sexual relationship’ with Miss Roberts before committing the database crime.
Newport Crown Court heard Jones looked up records about the couple and their children and illegally passed the information on to her.
But his crime was uncovered when she later became involved in the supply of Class A drugs.
During interviews by the South Wales Police Anti-Corruption Unit, Jones, who was based at Fairwater police station in Cardiff, insisted he only accessed the database for legitimate policing purposes.
He denied a charge of securing unauthorised access to computer material and also charged with lying to cover his tracks.
Jones accused those investigating him as being motivated by ‘an underlying unexplained grievance’ against him.
On the first day of the trial he claimed to have found his ‘daybook’ from 2015 which contained notes proving that he did have a legitimate purpose for accessing the information.
The jury was discharged and a retrial was ordered to allow for forensic tests to be carried out on the notebook after doubts were expressed about the colour of the ink used in the relevant entries.
Jones was based at Fairwater police station in Cardiff and was convicted after a trial with a second jury (pictured: Fairwater police station)
The daybook was never handed over and Jones has refused to explain what happened to it.
But he was convicted after a trial with a second jury.
Judge Daniel Williams said: ‘The fact that you are a police officer and a senior police officer is a seriously aggravating feature.
‘You had waited to declare this miracle discovery until the jury had been sworn, hoping that as a chief inspector your word would be accepted and you could leave court with your good character, job and pension intact.
‘It was an act borne of arrogance on your part which was an insult to the court and to the justice system which you have served so many years.’
Jones was sentenced to two months custody for the offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He was sentenced to 14 months for perverting the course of justice.
South Wales Police held a misconduct hearing on December 14, where it was found the allegations against Jones were proven and that they amounted to gross misconduct.
He was dismissed without notice and a referral was made to the College of Policing barring him from returning to the profession.
After the hearing Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: ‘It is entirely unacceptable for police officers, who are responsible for enforcing the law, to break the law themselves.
‘Police officers should be trusted to the ends of the earth, they hold so much authority and access to personal information, the public rightly expect our officers to uphold the highest professional standards.
‘Misusing personal private information in such circumstances means that dismissal is the only outcome in this matter.’