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PSNI officer facing unlawful personal data access charges

Details unknown except the two allegations go back 15 and 10 years respectively

A PSNI officer facing charges of unlawfully obtaining or disclosing personal data on two sets of occasions, one of which allegedly occurred 15 years ago and the other, almost 10 years ago, is currently suspended from duty, it has been confirmed.

Neil McDonald (38) whose address was given as PSNI Headquarters at Knock Road in Belfast is accused knowingly or recklessly without the consent of the data controller, obtained or disclosed personal data on January 20, 2009.

It is further alleged this offence was repeated on October 13, 2014.

No details surrounding the circumstances of the alleged offending were disclosed during the short hearing before Newry Magistrates’ Court and it is not known if the charges are in any way linked.

A defence barrister requested some time to fully consult with McDonald which was agreed by District Judge Eamonn King.

He listed the case for mention again on May 13 stating an indication of how the accused intends to plead should be entered on that date.

When asked to clarify McDonald’s current employment status a spokesperson replied: “This individual is currently suspended by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”

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