A FORMER Essex Police officer is to be sentenced after he admitted three offences including disclosing unlawfully obtained data.

Russell Hinkins, of Sperling Drive, Suffolk, appeared in court on Tuesday where he admitted knowingly or recklessly obtaining or disclosing personal data without consent of controller and causing a computer to secure unauthorized access to a data.

Hinkins also admitted neglecting to perform a duty whilst holding public office, misconduct in a judicial or public office, securing unauthorised access to computer material with intent, and disclosing unlawfully obtained personal data.

Gazette: Headquarters – Essex Police has said it has a zero tolerance approach to misconductHeadquarters – Essex Police has said it has a zero tolerance approach to misconduct (Image: Daniel Rees, Newsquest)

The court heard how Hinkins, 43, caused a computer to perform function with intent to secure unauthorised access over a three-year period from October 2017 to March 2021 when he accessed internal police systems “without policing purpose to do so”.

The offending continued between February 2021 and July 2022, when Hinkins disclosed personal data and case specific material.

The case then turned to whether Hinkins should be granted bail following Tuesday’s hearing.

Jack Coyne, defending, said: “The defendant is very aware of the seriousness of these matters.

“He has attended court, co-operated, and it’s in his interest to comply and cooperate with any conditions until the next hearing and thereafter.

“He’s aware the sentencing exercise, when conducted, will be a very carefully balanced one in terms of an immediate custody sentence.

“The court can still release him on unconditional bail and assure he will comply in this process.”

The judge overseeing the case, Recorder King, said Hinkins must live and sleep at his Suffolk address between now and when the case is revisited next month.

Gazette: Serious – Hinkins has been granted bail, but the judge told him his offences were 'very serious'Serious – Hinkins has been granted bail, but the judge told him his offences were 'very serious' (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “We are not going to deal with you today – your case is going to be adjourned until March 25.

“After March 25, if there is to be a further hearing, whether a trial of issue or for your sentencing, you must attend.

“I will admit you on bail that you live and sleep at your home address and you must notify the pros if you intend to change your address before you change your address.

“If you breach that condition or commit any further offences that will impact on your ongoing bail condition.”