Updated with sentence: Ex-public servant pleads guilty to misconduct in office offences
An ex-employee of the Crown Prosecution Service has been jailed today (5 May 2023) for the misuse of computer systems while working for the organisation.
Rachel Simpson, aged 39, from South Wales, was charged with two counts of misconduct in a public office and 30 counts of unauthorised access of a computer system between 2016 and 2020. She previously pleaded guilty to all these offences and was sentenced to six years imprisonment at Cardiff Crown Court.
Simpson was working as a paralegal officer at the CPS Wales in June 2020 when she was arrested by officers from the South Wales Police Anti-Corruption Unit. The case was investigated by Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit for southern Wales.
The 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 expected to only 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.”
The CPS is committed to maintaining the public’s confidence in our ability to effectively manage data entrusted to us. Action is already underway to ensure that we effectively learn from the issues identified in this case and appropriate changes are made to prevent recurrence.
Notes to editors
- Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Serious Economic Organised Crime and International Directorate (SEOCID)
- Rachel Simpson (DOB: 28/11/83) pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office and 30 counts of unauthorised access of computer systems and was sentenced to six years imprisonment