A judge today granted anonymity to a police officer who used official records to snoop on dealers he was buying drugs from.
The unprecedented order was made to protect a Scotland Yard officer who claimed he had been using cannabis for more than ten years to treat “nightmares and flashbacks.”
He said he had been forced to turn to street dealers when his internet source of “medicinal marijuana” was shut down in 2008.
He accessed the files of two people who had been supplying him with the Class B drug apparently in order to “ensure his own personal safety.”
He admitted five breaches of the Data Protection Act at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court today. District Judge Howard Riddell made a court order banning the publication of the officer’s name – which was displayed on public lists in the court building – as well as his address, picture or anything that could identify him.
Carl Kelvin, prosecuting, said the offences had taken place between October 2009 and February 2010.
Read more on London Evening Standard.
So…. if this were a non-law enforcement person who breached the Data Protection Act for their own personal medical reasons, would the court also grant them anonymity? What is there about this case that convinced the judge to grant anonymity? Was it the police status or the medical aspects – or both? It would be nice to know more of the judge’s thoughts leading to this decision.