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Royal hack police worker avoids jail

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A civilian police worker who hacked into force computers to steal data on a royal visit to Wales has avoided prison for crimes his lawyers claim were motivated by idle curiosity.

Martin Lansley, 31, was employed by Dyfed-Powys Police when he obtained unauthorised access to classified material about a then upcoming visit by the Prince of Wales. Lansley, who pleaded guilty to computer hacking offences, received a 12-month suspended sentence at a sentence hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday, the BBC reports.

The former psychological support officer from Pennant, near Aberaeron, was also ordered to complete 250 hours community service by Judge William Gaskell QC.

The court heard how Lansley obtained police passwords and station door codes in order to rummage through electronic records, including information on the royal visit and sensitive material including pay-sheets and budgets. Lansley downloaded the material onto a force-issued computer.

There's no evidence that he attempted to sell this information to newspapers or otherwise profit from his crimes. Eugene Egan, defending, said Lansley was motivated by "curiosity". "The files were not used for any unlawful purpose or disclosed to anyone," Egan told the court.

Force passwords were reset after the breach was discovered as part of a modest post-incident security operation that cost just £1,000. ®

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