Director of Public Prosecutions v Bignall: Admn 16 May 1997

The defendant police officers had obtained information from the Police National Computer, but had used it for improper purposes.
Held: The prosecution should have taken place under the 1990 Act as unauthorised access, and had not been used under the 1984 Act.


Lord Justice Pill And Mr Justice Astill


[1997] EWHC Admin 476, [1998] 1 Cr App R 1 DC




Computer Misuse Act 1990, Data Protection Act 1984


England and Wales


CitedScott v Metropolitan Police Commissioner; Regina v Scott HL 20-Nov-1974
The defendant had been accused of conspiracy to produce pirate copies of films obtained by purchasing copies from cinema owners without the knowledge or consent of the copyright owners.
Held: To establish a conspiracy to defraud, it was not . .
CitedRegina v Brown (Gregory) HL 9-Feb-1996
The issue was whether ‘data’ within the Data Protection Act 1984 was limited to data in computer-readable form.
Held: The offence of the ‘use’ of protected data required something beyond inspection on a computer screen including printout. . .

Cited by:

Not followedRegina v Bow Street Magistrates ex parte Government of the United States of America; In re Allison HL 2-Sep-1999
A person within an organisation who was authorised to access some data on a computer system at a particular level, could exceed his authority by accessing data at a level outside that authority. The unauthorised access offence under the 1990 Act was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 26 May 2022; Ref: scu.137421