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Crown Prosecution Service worker admits passing sensitive material to criminals

19 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Cardiff Crown Courts. Photo by Along time ago… is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

A former Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) employee has pleaded guilty to passing sensitive material to members of organised crime groups.

Rachel Simpson from Newport worked as a paralegal officer for CPS Wales when she committed the offences between 2016 and 2020.

The 39-year-old was arrested by officers from the South Wales Police Anti-Corruption Unit in June 2020.

At Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday she admitted to two counts of misconduct in a public office and 29 counts of unauthorised access of a computer system.

The case was investigated by Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit for southern Wales, after evidence against Simpson was discovered during an investigation into the use of encrypted phones by criminals.

Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “As a CPS employee, Rachel Simpson was in a position of trust and was only expected to access sensitive and confidential information when necessary for her job.

“She regularly accessed material when there was no business need and, on two occasions, the sensitive material she obtained was passed on to organised criminals.

“The CPS expects all staff to act with integrity in handling data held in its systems and Simpson fell well below these standards.

“We will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who engage in unlawful conduct. We also constantly review our digital systems to ensure they are as secure as possible.”

He added: “Action is already under way to ensure that we effectively learn from the issues identified in this case and appropriate changes are made to prevent recurrence.”

Simpson was remanded into custody and will be sentenced on March 3 at Cardiff Crown Court.

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