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Private eye fined for illegal sleuthing

Targeted medical centres, HMRC

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A private detective was fined this week for unlawfully obtaining information relating to "vulnerable women" from medical centres. Ray Pearson, a director of North London-based Pearmac Ltd, was prosecuted by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Pearson also persuaded an employee from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to hand over his Employee Identity Number, and then misrepresented himself in order to find out about a customer of HMRC.

He was fined a total of £6,250 for Data Protection Act offences and ordered to pay a further £600 costs by Brent Magistrates Court.

Philip Taylor, a solicitor with the Information Commissioner’s Office, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this case – these are very serious offences, and the fines awarded by Brent magistrates recognise that."

Pearson and his co-director, Alan McInerney, also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Act relating to the non-notification of Pearmac Ltd. Mr McInerney was fined £500, and ordered to pay £150 costs. The company was also fined £750 and ordered to pay £150 costs.

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