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article imageNSW cop checked out woman he met on eHarmony in police database

By Arthur Weinreb     Jul 5, 2016 in Crime
Sydney - A 35-year-old New South Wales police officer faces jail time after he pleaded guilty in a Sydney courtroom to running the name of a woman he met on an online dating site through a restricted police database.
The Professional Standards Command of the NSW police began an investigation into Constable John Wendelin regarding complaints unrelated to what he appeared in court for. The investigation included checking his use of the restricted police database as well as his phone records.
According to court documents, Wendelin had looked up Katy Tickner, a woman the constable had met on the online dating site eHarmony, on a restricted police database. In examining texts between the two, it was obvious Tickner had asked him to check her out on the database known as COPS (Computerized Operational Policing System).
Investigators found Tickner texted Wendelin on Jan. 27, 2016 to ask him if he had looked her up yet. The officer texted her back saying he will check to make sure she is as "cleanskin" as she claims to be.
The following day, Wendelin sent another text telling the woman she feels the need to speed when she drives.
Investigators interviewed Tickner who told them the pair met on eHarmony and although they had texted, she had met him in person only once.
A few months after these texts were sent, Wendelin was charged with one count under Section 308H of the Crimes Act 1900. One of the relatively new offences dealing with computer crime, Section 308H makes it an offence to access or modify restricted data on a computer knowing that access or modification is not authorized. The offence is a summary offence meaning it is tried in magistrates' courts.
Yesterday, at his first court appearance, Wendelin pleaded guilty to the charge. The officer, who has been on restricted duties since he was charged in May, will return to court for sentencing later this month. He faces up to two years in prison. a $50,000 fine, or both.
More about NSW Police, Eharmony, confidential police database, accessing restricted data, POLICE MISCONDUCT
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