Oxford

Thames Valley Police officer convicted of data breach

A police officer who emailed secret information on court case witnesses and gangland shootings to his father has been sacked.

Matthew Oaten, 30, previously admitted three counts of computer misuse and two of disclosing personal data.

He was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 of prosecution costs.

Winchester Crown Court was told he may have been trying to impress his father, a former police inspector.

He has now been dismissed from Thames Valley Police without notice after a misconduct hearing found he breached standards of professional behaviour between February and August 2013, and February and May 2015.

Oaten, of Goodwood Close, Bicester, sent his father the real names and personal details of victims who were giving evidence under false identities in a high-profile child exploitation trial.

'Simply bravado'

The officer, who was based in Banbury in Oxfordshire, also emailed details of an ongoing investigation into gangland shootings in the Oxford area.

He illegally checked police files on two previous girlfriends, one of whom was being investigated for leaving her children home alone while she attended a swingers' party.

Gregory Fishwick, defending, said his behaviour may have been "simply bravado", an attempt to show off to his father, Russell Oaten, the current chairman of the Dorset branch of Crimestoppers.

The court was told the force has had to inform the victims about the data breach and faces having to pay thousands of pounds in compensation.

Det Ch Insp Matt Stone said: "The overwhelming majority of our staff recognise the legal and ethical expectations of managing information we are entrusted with.

"I hope that today's outcome reinforces the seriousness in which we view this responsibility."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites