Wednesday 23 January 2019

Garda who leaked information to gang jailed for 18 months

Former Garda Jimell Henry, pictured arriving at Sligo District Court. Photo: Damien Eagers
Former Garda Jimell Henry, pictured arriving at Sligo District Court. Photo: Damien Eagers
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A disgraced garda who leaked confidential and sensitive information to a criminal gang has been jailed for 18 months.

Jimell Henry (36) accessed the Garda Pulse system from her base in Dublin and passed operational details on to crime contacts in Sligo using a "gouger" phone. A court heard she had become compromised by a drug habit and got involved with people from the "other side of the tracks" when she carried out the offences over a five-month period.

When she was caught, Henry's phone had contact numbers for 'The Pharmacy' and 'The Child', two senior members of a Sligo criminal gang.

In what was described as the first case of its kind to come before the courts, Henry was sentenced to three years in prison, with the final 18 months suspended.

Judge Keenan Johnson, who said it was a "deplorable action, undertaken with pre-meditation and planning" handed down the sentence at Sligo Circuit Court.

Henry, wearing a blue and navy striped dress, stood at the side of the courtroom with family members and appeared anxious as she awaited sentencing. She spoke only to acknowledge the bond for the suspended portion of her sentence when it was read out, replying "yes" to the court registrar. She then kissed her father and other family members before she was led away.

Henry, of Cairns Hill, Sligo, pleaded guilty to three charges of disclosing information obtained in the course of her duty in Dublin, knowing that it was likely to have a harmful effect, on dates between December 16, 2014, and January 14, 2015.

She also admitted four counts of disclosing operational details without proper authority between those dates. Henry further pleaded guilty to two charges of forging prescriptions for medication and two charges of giving false information to obtain prescribed medication from chemists in Sligo between February 3, 2016, and April 20, 2016.

"The offences undermine public confidence in the Garda and mark a serious betrayal of trust by the accused," Judge Johnson said.

"By her actions, the accused put investigations and more importantly lives at risk," the judge said, adding that the prosecution went "a long way to restoring the force's reputation".

Henry came from a highly respected family and both her father and grandfather had distinguished careers as gardaí.

Henry had mental health issues including anxiety stemming from her mother's death when she was 15. She took sanctuary in using headshop drugs and cocaine, the court heard.

Irish Independent

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