Stafford female officer who used database to snoop on exes is fined

PC Michelle Denne used the police database to look into her ex husband and her boyfriend’s ex-wife, as well as her three children

A policewoman who used the force’s computers to dig out details on her boyfriend’s ex-wife and children has been slapped with a community service order.

PC Michelle Denne, 44, illegally accessed the police database in order to obtain information relating to the woman and her three children – as well as her own ex-husband.

Magistrates heard how Denne also looked into a neighbour who had parked on her driveway, despite having more than 20 years’ experience in the job and knowing the consequences.

The mother-of-three from Stafford was finally caught after an investigation by Staffordshire Police’s anti-corruption unit found the six breaches which dated back to 2009. 

On Monday she was sentenced to a community service order for six months, including 10 days of community rehabilitation work.

Denne was also ordered to pay £185 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge. 

The Cannock Police Station based officer was suspended from duty and is now subject to internal misconduct proceedings.

Earlier this month she pleaded guilty to six offences under the Computer Misuse Act at Birmingham Magistrates Court.


 Sam Watts, prosecuting, said: ‘By way of background to the offences, the defendant had started a relationship with a Mr Fincher

‘She had a strained relationship with his ex-wife, Mrs Fincher, and on occasion she accessed data in relation to her, her family and her three children.’

Denne also looked up information about a sex offender who lived on her street on December 12, 2010.

She later began looking into her partner’s ex, named in court as Mrs Fincher.

On June 28, 2015, she got hold of data on someone who had parked on her driveway, and weeks later – on September 6 2015 – she looked into her ex-husband.

During the last offence, on March 17 last year, she tried to illegally get hold of more information on the Fincher family.

Colin Banham, defending, said his client had not extensively used the computers and had only done so to ‘protect her children.’

PC Denne admitted using police database to look into her ex, her boyfriend's ex and a number of neighbours on six occasions from 2009 until 2017

PC Denne admitted using police database to look into her ex, her boyfriend’s ex and a number of neighbours on six occasions from 2009 until 2017

He added: ‘Upon interview, the defendant admitted her part in these offences in full.

‘This is not an extensive use of computer systems at random.

‘This is very much someone who, on rare occasions, accessed data in order to secure her own personal life and to protect her children.

‘She did not profit in any way from these breaches, and did not distribute information to third parties.

‘She is a single mother, who is going through a lengthy divorce. She has had a number of personal setbacks.’

After the case, Deputy Chief Constable, Nick Baker, of Staffordshire Police, said: ‘Every day we are required to handle sensitive data and adhere to the proper use of systems without exception.

‘Anyone who falls below these standards will be held to account and, as is the case with PC Denne, brought before the courts.’