PC Eileen Arthurs misused police computer to view records of Securitas robbery suspect, court told
Eileen Arthurs was a PC
at North Kent police station in Northfleet
by Julia Roberts
A Kent police officer carried out improper computer checks
on a man who was once suspected of involvement in the £53million
Securitas robbery, a court heard today.
Eileen Arthurs was a police constable based at Bluewater and
North Kent police station in Northfleet when she accessed database
records for what were described as "purely personal and not
A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard the 52-year-old
officer lied to colleagues and made false entries in her pocket and
day notebooks when she made one of the Police National Computer
checks last year, as well as lying on an official document about
having no association with anyone who had a criminal
Arthurs, of Wansunt Road, Bexley, denies five charges of
misconduct in a public office dating back to 2004. It is alleged
she misused Kent Police's computer system to view information
relating to Lee May, his former partner Michelle Stevenson and an
"associate", Ian Tucker.
She is also accused of completing and submitting a vetting form
that was false and misleading in that it failed to disclose
her association with Mr May.
In March last year, while serving in the community safety unit,
Arthurs is alleged to have viewed and printed records in relation
to an Audi Q7 just a day after Mr May had told police he believed
the same vehicle was involved in a threat to his life.
She told colleagues she had seen the vehicle acting suspiciously
in Bexley Park, near Dartford, but made no reference to Mr May.
Prosecutor Matthew Jewell told the court Mr May has been
"involved with the police" as either a suspect or a defendant, and
that Arthurs was "at least" friends with him, having regular and
She later described him as a neighbour, having sold her former
home in Wansunt Road to him.
But Mr Jewell said she should have been in "no doubt" that she
had to be both "honest and careful" about her friendship with Mr
Arthurs is alleged to have first accessed his files on the
Genesis computer system in July 2004 and then twice more in 2005
while posted at Bluewater.
Mr Jewell said that by March 2006 Arthurs knew Mr May was "of
interest" to the police team investigating the largest cash robbery
in British history at the Securitas depot in Tonbridge a month
Police had wanted to establish an observation post on his home
address in Wansunt Road and discovered that Arthurs was the former
Arthurs was contacted to see if she knew anyone trustworthy in
the road from whose house such a post could be set up.
PC Eileen Arthurs was
also based at Bluewater shopping centre
She replied that she did not know anyone suitable but, when
asked, provided an internal plan of the house.
By December 2007, her earlier use of the computer system in
relation to Mr May, Ms Stevenson and Mr Tucker, had come to light
and was investigated by Kent Police's Professional Standards
Mr Jewell said that as a result she was given "informal advice"
to ensure any database checks were made in relation to her work,
and to display "a higher degree of honesty and integrity" to her
However, in November 2011 she was required to complete a form in
order to renew her vetting status.
When asked if she knew or associated with anyone who had,
or she had reason to believe had, received a caution or conviction,
engaged in criminal activities or associated with such persons,
Arthurs wrote 'No'.
Mr Jewell told the court Mr May fell into "at least one and
maybe more" of those categories.
He added: "She (later) denied her negative answer was in order
to conceal her relationship with Lee May. We suggest that's
precisely why she did do it."
Arthurs was arrested on March 20 last year as she drove home
from work. That day she had asked several colleagues at North Kent
police station to carry out a PNC check on the Audi car before
being given a print out of the registered keeper's details
including his name and address.
The trial is being heard
at Maidstone Crown Court
At the bottom of the document the details had been written out
by hand but Arthurs claimed she was taking it home to shred.
Mr Jewell said, however, that section of the print-out
could have been easily torn off and passed on.
"It is not alleged that any information was passed on to Mr May
but there is no doubt that PC Arthurs had accessed information in
which Mr May would have no doubt have been interested in.
"It is clear that she was anxious to conceal her relationship
with Mr May from the police. Her enquiries in relation to the
Audi were plainly made on any view as a result of information given
to her by Mr May.
"It may matter not whether he told her his life was in danger
nor about whether his report to the police about a threat to his
life was true or false.
"The fact is she made an enquiry about ownership of a vehicle in
which Mr May was plainly interested... Whatever she intended to do
with it was prevented from happening (by her arrest).
"She had done, you may think, everything she could to hide the
connection between her PNC check and Mr May by lying to her
colleagues and making false entries in her pocket and day
The trial continues.
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