PCs convicted `under wrong law'

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The Independent Online
A married police officer and his policewoman lover who used their force's national computer to check on his wife's new boyfriend were entitled to have criminal convictions quashed because they were tried on the wrong charges, the High Court ruled yesterday.

Constables Paul Bignell and Victoria Parker carried out six checks on two cars belonging to the boyfriend, using the police national computer.

The High Court yesterday ruled that Southwark Crown Court was right to quash the convictions last September because the couple had authority to gain access to the computer - "even though they did not do so for an authorised purpose".

Lord Justice Pill, sitting with Mr Justice Astill, said the couple had wrongly been charged under the 1990 Act - but could have been prosecuted under the 1984 Data Protection Act.