Mother “disgusted” after personal information sent to complete stranger by council

Terri Hessing with her children Jessica 3 and Liam 4

Terri Hessing with her children Jessica 3 and Liam 4 - Credit: Archant

A mother has been left “disgusted” after personal information about her and her family was sent to a complete stranger by a county council.

Terri Hessing of Exeter Close, Stevenage, was appealing to Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) after her four-year-old son, Liam, was not given a place at Martin’s Wood Primary School in Stevenage.

The mother-of-four appealed the decision and was due to be sent out an appeals pack, which contained personal information, including her home address, telephone number and personal statements, a week before the hearing on July 3.

The 30-year-old said: “I received an email from HCC on June 18 telling me that Liam had been granted a place at Martin’s Wood and so we wouldn’t need to appeal.

“I was please and thought nothing more about it until at about 8pm on Tuesday evening I received a call from a man called Michael Hudson who said that he had received all my personal information like address, names and my written appeals in the pack with all the information about his daughter Phoebe.

“I’m absolutely disgusted about what’s happened, it’s beyond belief. How can they send out private information like this? It could have gone to anyone.

“Mr Hudson and I have agreed that we will not hand back the information until there is proof that a full investigation has been launched.”

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Mr Hudson of Admiral Drive, Stevenage, said when he received the appeals pack he couldn’t believe it contained all the information about someone else’s child.

The 31-year-old IT consultant said: “We were appealing for our daughter to go to a different school because it’s much closer to our house and my wife struggles to take her very far.

“When I opened the pack I couldn’t believe what I saw. There were masses of information about Terri and her family. When I rang her up, with the number I got from the pack, she couldn’t believe what had happened.

“HCC have to investigate this because I think it may be a breach of the Data Protection Act.”

A Hertfordshire County Council spokesman said: “Hertfordshire County Council takes the protection of resident’s personal information extremely seriously. An investigation is underway and appropriate action will be taken to address any issues identified.”

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