A fitness brand ambassador avoids jail after sharing confidential garda information on Whatsapp

Kirstie Reynolds, 31, forwarded images of a “car catalogue” created on the PULSE garda system as part of an investigation which she sent on Whatsapp.

Judge Treasa Kelly adjourned the case in County Dublin and said she would apply the Probation Act if Reynolds paid €200 to charity.

Reynolds, a mother of one, of Barnewalls Way, Drimnagh, Dublin, pleaded guilty to disclosing personal information under the Data Protection Act on 14 May 2020.

The case was previously heard and returned to Judge Kelly for finalization. The court concluded that the accused had no previous convictions.

Defense barrister Tony Collier said gardai accepted his client had no intention of “using this material in any nefarious way”.

Reynolds, who was also a hospital worker, had limited means and lived in privately rented accommodation, Collier said.

Judge Kelly told her to pay €200 to the Society of St Vincent De Paul.

She remanded Reynolds on bail until October 24 and said she would dismiss the charge under the Probation Act if that was done.

Earlier, Detective Garda Michael Dunne of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) said three screenshots from PULSE were sent to Reynolds, who then sent them to a friend.

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The court heard that she had no “criminal intent” to undermine the investigation and that it would have been “obvious” that the images had come from the garda computer system.

Det Gda Dunne was satisfied that Reynolds “will not know the identity of the source of the information”. The source of the images was the subject of a “major investigation”.

The images contained “car catalog” information on the individual’s profile and date of birth and address.

Reynolds saw the images as “disgusting information” and did not benefit the person who received them or give anyone an advantage over the gardaí.

She was stupid and should have deleted the message instead, Collier said.

The investigation resulted in a “large file” but his client had previously entered a plea not seeking disclosure.

Reynolds worked full-time and did not associate with negative colleagues, Collier said. She was a member of a “prominent gym”, helped others with fitness and was a “brand ambassador for a certain line of fitness clothing”.

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