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Pl accused of hacking is "quit family man' Neighbours tell of ex-soldier embroiled in Brown row.

Byline: ALASTAIR CRAIG

THE Tyneside private investigator who allegedly mined police information on former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is today revealed as a former soldier and keen gardener who "never discusses his job".

Glen Lawson, who has been a private detective for the last 21 years, is accused of being one of the investigators that received personal information on Mr Brown, then the Chancellor. Mr Lawson, a married dad-of-two, claims on the website for his business, called Abbey Investigations, that it "employs a dedicated team of experts who collectively have many years of practical experience".

But the business is not listed as a member of the Association of British Investigators, the body that self-regulates the industry.

The business claims to work throughout the North East in the industrial, commercial, financial, private and legal sectors.

It promises a "cost-effective service with a reputation for discretion and reliability".

Neighbours next to Mr Lawson's home in Saltwell, Gateshead, today described him as an unassuming family man, but most admitted they knew little of his business life.

William Brooks, 86, said: "He is a good neighbour. He is a really nice fellow and every time we see each other we will stop and have a chat. We were both in the Army so we talk about that.

"Glen is from Scotland originally and served in the Scots Regiment. He is a keen gardener and has an allotment locally so we chat about that too.

"He never talked about his job though." Another neighbour said: "He works as a private investigator but has never talked to me about exactly what it is that he does."

Staff who share the offices at Lynnwood Business Centre in Fenham, Newcastle, where Abbey Investigations is based, said they rarely saw Mr Lawson.

Mr Lawson has been named by a national newspaper as one of a network of private investigators receiving information on Mr Brown, taken from a computer by a junior police officer for Devon and Cornwall.

It is claimed court papers establish Mr Lawson used a police "contact" to commission a sweeping search of police records for information on Mr Brown, in 2000, as well as Newcastle East MP, and then Minister for the North East, Nick Brown.

The previously unreported court hearing was told Mr Lawson made searches on behalf of journalists - but West Country judge Paul Darlow ruled it would be a misuse of public money to pursue the case. Mr Lawson refused to comment on the claims.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 13, 2011
Words:412
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