Specialist solicitors to help in misuse of private information

Last week James Close appeared before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court.

He was an employee of HM Passport Office in Durham between May 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, when he stole 30 passport photographs.

James Close also pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent photographs of a child, one offence of possessing a prohibited image of a child and one offence of possessing extreme pornography involving animals.

James Close is due to be sentenced on Friday, November 22, 2019, at the Crown Court in Durham.

The theft of the photographs comprises a significant data breach by this Passport Office employee.

It remains unclear what if anything he did with the images of girls which he stole from the Passport Office. It is unclear whether they were circulated and if so to what extent and to whom.

It is likely the victims have been contacted by Durham Constabulary and are therefore aware their images were stolen. The victims may now wish to consider seeking compensation for any distress suffered.

At Ben Hoare Bell LLP, we have specialist solicitors who act in data protection cases/misuse of information cases.

We have significant experience in conducting large group claims where data has been unlawfully disclosed.


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If you seek advice on your rights as a result of a data breach/misuse of your private information, please contact our Specialist Solicitors Richard Hardy, Andrew Freckleton or Katy Stephenson on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected]

After the case, Durham Police said: "Following intelligence received, a warrant was served at an address in Shildon in County Durham earlier this year and a number of items were seized by officers.

"As part of that investigation a man in his mid-30s was arrested at his workplace in Durham city on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children and theft from his employer."

As well as their office at 19 John Street, Sunderland, Ben Hoare Bell LLP has bases in numerous other sites across the North East, including Gateshead, Newcastle and Middlesbrough. Email [email protected] for details.