A woman working at Hammersmith Police station gained illegal access to sensitive police data in a bid to help her boyfriend after he was jailed for a gangland murder.
Lydia Lauro, from Earl’s Court , tried to find a key witness who had given evidence against Leon De St Aubin at his trial in a bid to help his appeal.
The 33-year-old was working at the time as a civilian Designated Detention Officers (DDOs) in the custody suite at the Shepherd’s Bush Road station, and was convicted at a hearing earlier this year, along with her co-defendant Hayden Cheremeh, of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a Public Office.
They will be sentenced on January 20.
St Aubin and Rupert Ross had been convicted of the gangland execution of Fulham resident Darcy Austin-Bruce at an Old Bailey trial in November 2011.
However, 60-year-old Diana Lank from Fulham, the mother of Ross, was found not guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice at the Old Bailey following a second trial on Tuesday (December 13).
Lauro and Cheremeh had been convicted in July at the Old Bailey , but restrictions meant details could not be reported until now, the Metropolitan Police said.
One of the witnesses who testified against the St Aubin, from Chelsea, and Ross, from Fulham, did so after being granted anonymity.
Their evidence was given from behind screens with the additional protection of voice modification.
But the court heard how Lauro and Cheremeh, 35 and from Clapham, infiltrated the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) Criminal Intelligence Database on a number of occasions in 2012.
She had joined the Met just weeks after St Aubin’s sentence, in January 2012, and continued to visit her partner in prison.
Within two months she made her first attempt to unlawfully gather information from Met’s Criminal Intelligence system, but as a DDO she could not gain access.
Lauro enlisted the help of Cheremeh who, as a former Police Community Support Officer, did have access to the intelligence system.
Phone records showed a number of texts from Lauro to Cheremeh, persuading him to access the system to gather information about a number of individuals who it was believed may have supplied information to the police.
Subsequent messages show that Lauro began a physical relationship with Cheremeh.
Audits of the intelligence system later showed Cheremeh had made numerous unauthorised attempts to discover the identity of the protected witness and others.
The information gathered was passed on, and as preparations began for the appeal hearing, it became apparent to officers that highly sensitive details was being obtained from the MPS intelligence system.
A full investigation was begun by officers from the MPS Anti-Corruption Command and subsequent enquires uncovered the conspiracy.
Cheremeh was arrested in May 22 2013, and Lauro three days later at Luton Airport as she returned from a holiday.
They resigned from the Met after being charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office in March 2015.
'The public has the right to expect that personal information that police hold will be kept secure'
St Aubin and Ross had their leave for appeal refused at the Royal Courts of Justice in May 2013.
Detective Superintendent Tom Whorwood formerly of the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “This was a well-planned conspiracy to access highly confidential and sensitive information, which would have been of huge benefit to dangerous convicted criminals.
"The public has the right to expect that personal information that police hold will be kept secure; those who try to compromise this integrity will be vigorously pursued.”
A gangland execution
Darcy Austin-Bruce was gunned down in a car park outside Wandsworth prison in May 2009.
The 20-year-old from Fulham Court, Fulham, was blasted several times in the back and torso in front of woman and children also visiting the prison.
Two years later, Leon De St Aubin, of Lucan House, Chelsea, and Rupert Ross, of Vera Road, Fulham, were sentenced for the gangland execution.
Ross and St Aubin, a fireman, had previously been good friends with Mr Austin-Bruce.
However, the relationship disintegrated to the extent that the men went on a mission to kill each other.
A few days before his murder, Mr Austin-Bruce and another youth had shot at a car being driven by St Aubin. It was then Ross and St Aubin plotted to kill their rival.
A prisoner tipped-off Ross and St Aubin of Mr Austin-Bruce’s intended visit to the prison.
Dressed in a suit, Ross struck first, firing into the victim’s back as he Mr Austin-Bruce walked with two friends.
The victim turned to face his killer, who continued to shoot him in the chest, firing six shots from close range.
Ross ran towards a nearby moped, where a getaway driver, St Aubin, who was also dressed in a suit and crash helmet, drove off.
The weapon and moped, which was stolen, were never found but witnesses identified Ross as the shooter and St Aubin his getaway driver.
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