A Garda did “incalculable” damage to the force after giving information to a gang involved in a feud with other criminals, a judge warned.
Judge Keenan Johnson told disgraced garda Jimell Henry that she had let down her family, her colleagues and her community.
Henry (36), from Cairns Hill, Co Sligo, admitted accessing the Garda Pulse system from her base in Dublin to give information to a criminal gang.
Her telephone had contact numbers for ‘The Pharmacy’ and ‘The Child’ – two senior members of a Sligo criminal gang, the court heard.
It is the first prosecution of its kind in the State and she will be sentenced next month at Sligo Circuit Court.
Superintendent Jim Delaney told the court that gardaí in Sligo were concerned in 2015 and 2016 that sensitive Garda information was finding its way to a gang.
He said there had been a number of tit-for-tat incidents.
A “complex multi-disciplinary” investigation was launched and it was found that Henry, who was based in Co Dublin, had made 980 queries in a two-week period and 73pc of those were about Sligo on the Pulse system.
Supt Delaney said Pulse was the most powerful element of An Garda Síochána. Henry was spotted by gardaí in a meeting with a well-known criminal in Ballisodare, the court heard.
Henry told gardaí she had met him to fix a hair straightener.
She contacted her criminal associates by what she termed a “gouger phone”, the court was told. Henry was arrested on January 16, 2015.
Supt Delaney agreed under cross-examination from junior defence counsel Keith O’Grady that Henry was compromised by habitual drug use.
“For most of her 36 years, she was law-abiding,” defence counsel Kerida Naidoo SC said.
“She got involved in drugs and had a relationship with people who were from the other side of the tracks and it led her to make very poor decisions.”
Henry had no previous convictions, and apologised to the gardaí, the court, her family and her father, who is an ex-officer in Sligo.
Counsel said Henry’s case had rightly attracted publicity and her reputation in Sligo was “in tatters”.
He said the defendant’s remorse was genuine and there was no danger of repetition as her job in An Garda Síochána was untenable and that was a significant punishment.
Henry had pleaded guilty to three charges of disclosing information obtained during the course of her duty as a garda in Co Dublin knowing that the disclosure of that information was likely to have a harmful effect on dates between December 16, 2014 and January 14, 2015.
She pleaded guilty to four charges of disclosing operational details without proper authority on dates between December 16, 2014, and January 15, 2015.
The defendant also 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 in a period from February 3, 2016, and April 20, 2016.
The judge said that by her actions she had “let her colleagues and her community down and the resulting damage to the force is incalculable”.