Police call-handler 'fed information on hunt for Dale Cregan'

She passed details to her boyfriend who shared it with killer's mother, court told

A police call-handler fed secret information to her boyfriend during the massive manhunt for his friend Dale Cregan, a court heard today.

Kathryn Smith, 25, a civilian with Greater Manchester Police, used the police's computer systems while on her shift at force HQ to check developments in Operation Dakar - the hunt to find the one-eyed killer, it is alleged.

She passed information on to her boyfriend Sean Booth, 31, who lived on the same street and grew up with Cregan, which was shared with Cregan's mother Anita Cregan, 56.

All three deny a single count of misconduct in a public office, Smith by looking for and disclosing confidential information and Booth and Cregan by aiding and abetting her to commit the offence.

At the time of the alleged offence by the defendants, Dale Cregan was the prime suspect in the murders of father and son David and Mark Short, prosecutor Nicholas Clarke QC told Manchester Crown Court.

Mark Short was shot dead in the Cotton Tree Pub in Droylsden on May 25 last year and his father gunned down and blown up with a hand grenade at his home in Clayton, Manchester, 11 weeks later.

A £50,000 reward was put up for the arrest of Cregan, considered "extremely dangerous" by police, the court heard.

Officers swamped east Manchester and Droylsden, where Cregan lived, and bugged the Cregan family home on Sutton Drive, the jury heard.

At the same time Smith would go into work and "habitually" monitor events in the area, looking at information and maps on police computers that she, as a call handler, was not supposed to access.

"Whenever the system took her away to deal with a call from a different area, she would almost immediately drag it back to Droylsden," Mr Clarke told the court.

"She concentrated on the high level of police activity surrounding the manhunt for Dale Cregan and the Sutton Drive area where his family reside. Smith's role does not permit her to act this way."

The jury were shown screen-shots of her computer use on the evening of September 4 last year, showing how Smith viewed details of a call taken by police giving details of a possible sighting of Cregan on Manchester Road in Droylsden.

She used her computer to look up the exact locations of all the officers and police cars and vans in the area and accessed maps showing armed response patrols in the vicinity.

Smith, of Condor Close, Droylsden, and Booth and Cregan, both of Sutton Drive, Droylsden, all deny the offence, allegedly committed between September 1 2011 and September 9 2012.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little