Northern Ireland

PSNI officer disciplined over copied statement

Police Ombudsman
Image caption The Police Ombudsman found that one officer had copied the other's statement

A police officer has been disciplined after a judge said he believed he had lied in court.

It happened in April 2011 during a case at Enniskillen Magistrate's Court.

The judge said that evidence offered by two police officers was so similar it gave him cause for concern.

The Police Ombudsman found that one of the officers accessed the other's statement, "copied and pasted" it and altered the second page to reflect his own evidence.

The statements related to an incident in April 2010.

Investigators interviewed both police officers, referred to as Officer One and Officer Two.

Officer One's statement was dated 16 April 2010.

He said his statement had been drawn from the notes he made immediately after the incident.

He said he typed it onto a blank witness statement template document on a police computer, which he then emailed to the police officer dealing with the incident.

He said the first time he had heard Officer Two's statement was when he was in court.

Officer Two's statement was dated 17 May 2010. He said he told the truth at court but declined to answer any questions from Police Ombudsman investigators.

Investigators established that Officer Two had viewed Officer One's statement at 16:44 on 29 April 2010 and at 18:21 had created a computer document which contained the main body of Officer One's statement.

The Police Ombudsman's Office forwarded a report of its investigation to the Public Prosecution Service which directed no prosecution.

The officer, who told investigators he had a problem with spelling and grammar, has been disciplined.

The ombudsman also recommended that he should receive guidance in preparing statements and delivering evidence in court.

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