A DETECTIVE who leaked police information to a one-time suspected criminal was ordered to pay a £4,000 fine or face jail.
Vaughan Roberts was said to have brought “disgrace” on the North Wales force with his lies, after he got hold of information about a friend on the police computer network.
At an earlier hearing last week it emerged Roberts had phoned Mr Lewis’ landline while on the police computer last May.
Simon Rogers, defending, had told Caernarfon Crown Court Roberts wanted to find his friend’s contact numbers because he believed he was “spreading rumours” he and other cops were using steroids, and he wanted to stop it.
The two arranged to meet at Caeathro near Caernarfon.
But the Bangor-based 30-year-old from Rhos on Sea, was convicted of two offences by a jury.
Yesterday Judge Merfyn Hughes QC fined him £4,000 and ordered him to pay £1,000 costs, telling him he’d breached the trust of the public and his employers.
Roberts also faced a further charge of offering to supply a quantity of Class C bodybuiding drugs, but yesterday that charge was ordered to lie on the file.
He remains suspended from North Wales Police and an internal investigation is being carried out. Last week Judge Hughes said there were questions for the force’s Professional Standards department to consider, including the “fiddling of statistics” which were mentioned during the trial.
Sentencing him yesterday, the judge told Roberts any police officer with integrity would have recognised the danger of having an “unhealthy” relationship with Lewis, who the judge said was: “a man you knew was of interest to the police, who although had no convictions for some time, was arrested in 2003 and suspected in other matters.”
The judge explained data protection offences carry only a financial penalty and ordered Roberts to pay the fine and costs within six months or face three months’ imprisonment.
Mr Rogers, defending, told the judge Roberts had not resigned from the police Mr Rogers added: “If he loses his employment it will affect his ability to pay.”
oberts made no comment as he left.
After the hearing Deputy Chief Constable Ian Shannon said: “Following a successful investigation by North Wales Police and the subsequent conviction of DC Vaughan Roberts the internal investigation continues and DC Vaughan Roberts remains suspended from his policing duties.”
A spokesman for North Wales Police Authority said: “We have every confidence that this matter is being dealt with robustly by the Force and the ongoing internal investigation will be conducted in the appropriate manner.”