Probation officer arrested after allegedly leaking information about a Fenland paedophile
A PROBATION officer has been arrested after allegedly leaking sensitive information about a Fenland paedophile to members of the public. Probation bosses have launched an internal investigation and police are currently considering criminal charges agains
A PROBATION officer has been arrested after allegedly leaking sensitive information about a Fenland paedophile to members of the public.
Probation bosses have launched an internal investigation and police are currently considering criminal charges against the official, who recently left their job.
The case came to light at Norwich Crown Court after a defence barrister told the court that his client, Lee Dennison of Tydd St Giles, Wisbech, could not yet be sentenced because of potential complications with case reports prepared by probation staff.
Allegations were made last week and centre on 56-year-old Dennison, who is due to be sentenced after admitting failing to register as a sex offender.
He was jailed for eight months in 2007 after pleading guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a boy.
The precise nature of the leaked information was not revealed, although it is believed to have included details which could have compromised Dennison's safety.
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A source said: "If it's true, it's a very serious complaint. Whatever people think of sex offenders, it is the duty of probation staff to handle individuals' details in a responsible manner."
Addressing the judge, defence counsel Michael Clare said: "There is an ongoing complaint against a Norfolk probation officer who disclosed information about him. That probation officer has been arrested and no longer works for Norfolk probation.
"That complaint appears to have some substance although I'm not asking your honour to make a judgment about that."
He expressed potential concerns about a pre-sentence report compiled by Norfolk probation officers, which recommends Dennison be jailed. It is thought officials in Cambridgeshire will be asked to draw up a new report to avoid future criticism.
"There is a legitimate cause for concern in this case and it would save a great deal of unfortunate worry in future if another report is drawn up," Mr Clare said.
Cambridgeshire police are currently investigating Dennison's complaint and will liaise with officers in Norfolk.
A spokesman for Norfolk Probation Area was unavailable for comment.