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A female community support officer has pleaded guilty to 11 charges of obtaining personal information illegally after admitting using the Police National Computer to check out potential boyfriends.

Lucy Bevan, 25, of Longbenton, was fined £1,100 for the offences. She has since resigned from the police force.

Magistrates heard that Bevan accessed one man's file 151 times, and even checked the PNC for information on his mum.

In her defence the court heard she had acted unprofessionally but did not gain personally from her actions.

The chairman of the magistrates said: "For a police officer of some standing, this represents a calamitous error of judgement on your part, a serious breach of trust and an abuse of police power."

Senior officers became suspicious about Bevan's relationship with a man working in a shop in her patrol area. They checked her access log to the PNC and found she'd looked at his file 151 times, the Telegraph reports.

When they approached the man in question, he said Bevan had told him she'd looked at his file to check out his suitability as a boyfriend.

Northumbria Police apologised and said they hoped the prosecution would reassure people that they took such complaints seriously and made all efforts to ensure staff obey the rules. ®

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