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CPS paralegal jailed for misconduct in a public office

A 39-YEAR-OLD woman from Newport has been sent to prison for six years after being convicted of misconduct in a public office.

Rachel Simpson was employed as a paralegal within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) when she was arrested in June 2020 by officers from the South Wales Police Anti-Corruption Unit. The case was then led by Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit for southern Wales

Following evidence uncovered through the investigation into the activity of an organised crime group in the Newport area, it became apparent that Simpson had been providing information from police and CPS sources to organised crime groups in Newport and latterly Merseyside for a number of years.

Detective Inspector Matt Houghton of Tarian said: “Simpson enjoyed a position of trust and responsibility within the CPS which she betrayed, letting down her colleagues, the police and the public.

“Our investigation has resulted in two offences of misconduct in a public office and 29 offences related to the computer misuse act and such was the weight of evidence against her that she had little option but to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “As a CPS employee, Rachel Simpson was in a position of trust and was only expected to 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.”