Sensitive material on the Noah Donohoe case is being leaked by a police source on social media, the coroner’s court has heard.
The Donohoe family’s attorney made the allegation during a pre-inquest hearing Thursday.
In response, a PSNI representative said the organization was not aware of any unauthorized disclosure of police footage related to the case.
Brenda Campbell QC, on behalf of the family, said the allegation was at the center of a series of complaints Noah’s mother, Fiona, had lodged with the Police Ombudsman.
“One of the concerns in this document is that sensitive material is leaking out on social media from what we say can only be a police source,” she told Coroner Justice Michael Humphreys.
Responding to the lawsuit, Mr Justice Humphreys said: “Of course that would be a matter of very great concern if that is true and I fully understand why your instructors will write in the terms they have done in relation to the potential leak of information from this one Source.”
Ms. Campbell outlined the request in open court before a hearing to consider a PSNI motion that certain information from the November 2020 investigation into Noah’s death be withheld.
When asked by the coroner to explain the allegation’s relevance to the immunity in the public interest (PII) hearing, Ms Campbell said she raised it as “juxtaposition” to the PSNI’s court order to withhold information with the alleged unauthorized leaks of material had not even been disclosed to the Donohoe family.
PSNI representative Donal Lunny QC said the material allegedly leaked on Twitter did not contain any of the sensitive materials that were the subject of the PSNI’s PII request.
“I feel obliged to state my directions in relation to this complaint as it has been made and in short the PSNI is not aware of any leaks or unauthorized disclosure of undisclosed material,” he said.
The lawyer stressed that police officers are obliged to follow the PSNI’s code of ethics, which prohibits such behavior.
“If an officer is found to be violating this code, this will be investigated and, if appropriate, a misconduct proceeding instituted, and I can advise that the Police Professional Standards Division is not aware of any complaint,” he said.
Mr Lunny said the complaint as it stands remains a matter for the Police Ombudsman to deal with.
Noah, a 14-year-old student at St Malachy’s College, was found dead in a storm drain in north Belfast in June 2020, six days after he went missing.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/police-source-leaking-material-on-noah-donohoe-case-on-social-media-coroners-court-told-41954379.html Police are sourcing “leaky” footage of the Noah Donohoe case on social media, the coroner’s court said