As the BBC explains:
Defence agent David Hunter said: "Although there is the statutory defence of accessing the information for police purposes that does not really apply here. His nose got the better of him and he was curious."
Sheriff Derrick McIntyre asked Mr Hunter if Merron could be described as a "nosy parker" who was "filling in time"?
The solicitor replied: "There is really no legitimate reason for accessing the information other than curiosity."
I may be misreading that last line, but it sounds to me like the solicitor is implying that curiosity is a legitimate reason.
Of course, PC Merron has been suspended and fined £4,800 – but it's curiosity like his that goes a long way to explaining why you should always be wary of state databases.
By Dylan Sharpe