A senior police analyst, who accessed documents without authorisation, has been given a conditional discharge.

Peter Michael Devereau reported the offence to the force himself, after he searched for a family member who was involved in an estate dispute.

We previously reported that the complainant in the case was the Isle of Man Constabulary.

Devereau, who is 56 and lives at Selbourne Drive in Douglas, was working as a senior police analyst, using Structured Query Language (SQL) on the Police Connect system.

SQL users are in a position of trust but no trail is left when they access data.

On April 27, Devereau used the system to search for a family member.

He then told the police himself that he had done this and that he had been viewing the data because of a long standing family dispute over a trust.

Devereau confessed that he had accidentally viewed the data on previous occasions, but on April 27 had intentionally performed the search.

He said that he had been under a great deal of stress at the time.

On May 23, he attended a voluntary interview and again admitted accessing the information without authorisation.

The court heard that he has no previous convictions.

Defence advocate Jim Travers entered a basis of plea for his client, in which Devereau said he had never divulged the information he searched for to anyone outside of the constabulary, and reiterating that he had reported the offence himself.

Mr Travers said: ‘The rather sad feature is that Mr Devereau has lost his good character and potentially will lose his career.

‘One may have thought there could have been a suitable disciplinary process, but we are where we are.

‘Simply put, this offence could not have come to light had he not confessed it himself.

‘Perhaps that demonstrates the ethics and mindset of this individual.

‘The references, I submit, are stellar from a number of sources.’

Mr Travers referred to a probation report which had assessed Devereau as a low risk of reoffending and low risk of harm to others.

The advocate said that the defendant was currently suspended from his job, and asked magistrates to consider a conditional discharge, which Mr Travers said may enable Devereau to somehow resurrect his career.

Magistrates agreed to impose a conditional discharge, which will run for 12 months, saying that they had considered Devereau’s previous good character, the fact that he had self-reported the offence, and his personal circumstances.

The defendant was also ordered to pay £350 prosecution costs.