Police officer closed personal Twitter account because of ex-town councillor, court told

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A police officer had to close his personal Twitter account after a former Oakham town councillor used information from the site on his personal blog, a court heard.

Sgt Christopher Wharton told district judge John Temperley at Leicester Magistrates Court this morning (Tuesday) that a number of his tweets from his personal account were copied into Martin Brookes’ blog and distributed to a wider audience.

Brookes, 47, of Willow Crescent, Oakham, denies three charges of harassment and three charges of stalking Sgt Wharton, Oakham town councillor Charles Howarth and Rutland County Council chief executive Helen Briggs.

Giving evidence this morning, Sgt Wharton told the court: “I made a couple of work-related tweets and Mr Brookes used that information and blogged about me, making it impossible to keep it open.”

The court heard that a photograph on Sgt Wharton’s Twitter account taken on a family day out was also copied from the account and sent to police colleagues, the Police Professional Standards department and Rutland MP Alan Duncan by Brookes, a former Oakham town councilor. Other tweets about work-related matters were sent to the same people.

Defending solicitor David Swingler said as some of the tweets related to police matters they were not personal and the lines between professional and personal had been blurred.

The trial continues.