Data law case against Deputy dropped

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The Attorney General, William Bailhache, concluded that there was insufficient evidence to proceed despite receiving a report from the data protection registrar which criticised Deputy Le Main.The Deputy was reported for the alleged infraction after contacting the mother of a States tenant expressing his concern for the health of her grandchildren.

The woman’s daughter had quit a States property and left it in what Deputy Le Main described as ‘an appalling mess’.’There was not a door left on the place.

It was trashed from top to bottom.

There was excrement everywhere and the back garden had a foot of raw sewage in it,’ said Deputy Le Main.’It was horrendous and I had concerns about the children.

That’s why I did it – and that’s why I would do the same tomorrow,’ he added.

‘I and my committee were determined and ready to defend ourselves publicly.’But by contacting the tenant’s grandmother, Deputy Le Main broke the Data Protection Law, according to Registrar Michael Smith.

He recommended a prosecution to the Attorney General and a full investigation was carried out by the States police.

But after receiving their report, Mr Bailhache has decided not to take any further action.’Having considered the report, I referred it to the Chief Officer of the States police in order that a full investigation might be carried out and evidence gathered in a form which could be used, if a prosecution were to be brought,’ said Mr Bailhache.

‘I received a full file of that investigation later last year and resolved that no prosecution would be brought, as there was insufficient evidence to justify doing so.

The evidential test is whether the Attorney General is satisfied that there is a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction on the evidence available.’It is not my policy to give reasons for decisions of this kind.

To do so would involve disclosing material parts of the evidence and would often lead to prolonged and public controversy.’Deputy Le Main claimed that the data protection registrar had not properly considered the evidence before reaching his conclusions.’He wrongly listened to one side of the story,’ he said.

‘There are always two sides and if he had listened to my side I am sure he would have come to the same conclusion as the Attorney General and the police.’Deputy Geoff Southern, a critic of Deputy Le Main’s presidency, has promised not to let the matter lie.

‘I will be seeking explanations from the Attorney General.

After all, the data protection registrar had concluded that he had acted recklessly,’ he said.

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