Police couple shared footage of murder victim

A constable and his police colleague wife have been jailed after they shared video footage taken at the crime scene of a murder inquiry.

Cameron Lee Hanson, 33, was a serving officer at Lancashire Constabulary when he attended an address in October 2021 and found the body of 45-year-old James O'Hara.

Hanson recorded the discovery on his body-worn video, but minutes after he left he sent police civilian worker Kirstie Hanson, 33, audio messages about the incident and used his personal phone to take videos of Mr O'Hara.

After admitting misconduct in a public office, Hanson, of Packington Brook, Oswaldwistle, and Kirstie Hanson, of the same address, were jailed for 32 and 18 months respectively.

'Warped bragging'

Manchester Crown Court heard how the morning after receiving the material Kirstie Hanson asked fellow civilian worker Charlotte Riley, 30, if she wanted "to see video from a murder".

Riley replied: "Yeh, of course I do," and Kirstie Hanson sent her the footage with the message: "Don't show anyone that, I'll get in shit."

Two days later, Kirstie Hanson approached two other colleagues and showed them her husband's recording of the body. The colleagues reported the matter to their superiors and an inquiry was launched, with the Hansons' devices seized.

The investigation uncovered another incident in February 2021 in which Cameron Hanson was called to a sudden death and messaged his wife: "Just a potential murder."

He took a photograph of the deceased, whose body was covered by a coat, and sent it Kirstie Hanson who replied: "Babyyy that's creepy. I hope that's not your coat."

Other misconduct revealed included unauthorised access to police computer systems, disclosure of private and sensitive information, and "mockery of vulnerable members of the public".

All three defendants pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to misconduct in a public office, while the Hansons also admitted unauthorised access to a computer.

Kirstie Hanson and Riley also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to secure access to computer material.

Riley, of Carholme Avenue, Burnley, received a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.

The various offences took place between January 2019 and November 2021.

The court heard how in January 2021, Hanson sent his wife a phone recording of body worn video taken by him when he used Pava incapacitant spray on an individual known to have mental health difficulties.

He messaged her: "Two arrests, both fights. Pavad a mental health patient lol."

Kirstie Hanson replied with a laughing emoji and wrote: "Thought you weren't allowed to pava them."

Camerson Hanson said: "Tis questionable but justified in this case ha ha."

In October 2021, Cameron Hanson messaged his wife after he attended a report of a sexual offence and also gave her the location.

He wrote: "Rape. Some guy got through a window and raped a woman while her husband sat crying."

'Deep shame'

Last April, Michael Hannan, 32, was jailed at Preston Crown Court for five years and four months for the manslaughter of Mr O'Hara who he punched in an unprovoked stranger attack.

Mr O'Hara's mother Janice read out a victim personal statement from the witness box at Manchester Crown Court about the impact upon the family.

She said: "I can't comprehend why anyone, let alone a serving police officer, could carry out such an atrocity.

"They have stripped our son of the dignity he deserved in death, it dehumanised him, all for some morbid curiosity or some form of warped bragging rights."

Judge Nicholas Dean KC, told the defendants: "We have heard the moving statement of Mrs O'Hara. Hearing her I hope you felt the deep sense of shame that you ought to feel.

"This is a shocking and disturbing case. Shocking and disturbing for what it might tell us about the culture that appears to have existed for a period of time at least within Lancashire Police."

David James, representing Cameron Hanson, said his client wanted to apologise to his victims and their families.

He added: "He was emotionally ill-suited to such a difficult and stressful job."

Patrick Cassidy, for Kirstie Hanson, said she was "deeply ashamed" and had since undertaken a university course on law and ethics as a "manifestation of her reflective state of mind in order to learn".

Patrick Williamson, defending Riley, said she too was ashamed and added: "Her family are frankly horrified and annoyed at her behaviour."

Lancashire Police said all three defendants resigned during the course of its investigation.

Det Ch Insp Eugene Swift, of the force's anti-corruption unit, said: "The behaviour of these three individuals has no place in Lancashire Constabulary and damages public confidence and trust in the police at both a local and national level.

"My thoughts are with the victims of this offending and I hope today's outcome will give them some sense of justice."

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