A FILE of confidential documents relating to an ongoing court case have been found scattered across a road by a member of the public.

Around 100 muddied A4 sheets were found near the Waldo Road tip in Bromley at the junction of Homesdale Road and Waldo Road at around 9am on Tuesday (Jan 6).

Documents recovered included police interview records, witness statements, police bail notices, custody records and personal information about the defendants.

The file - which belongs to MK Law solicitors in Deptford - fell out of a car after one of the firm’s advocates failed to shut his boot properly.

A spokesman for the solicitors said: “It was a complete accident, I've never known it to happen before.

“We were extremely concerned.

“No one should be looking at these papers, as they are subject to professional privilege.”

In the documents are lists of the defendants’ previous convictions as well as risk assessments relating to their physical and mental health.

Details show the statements and interviews were given at Plumstead police station, and include names of police officers involved.

They concern a car crash last year where a man and woman are accused of perverting the course of justice.

Some of the papers are headed under the Data Protection Act with an instruction to dispose of as confidential waste and to keep data secure and protect them against loss or unauthorised access.

Yet they were found strewn across a road and handed into News Shopper, who duly delivered the file to Plumstead police station.

Peter Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents the interests of Met police officers, says the loss of the data is regrettable.

He said: “That material would be shared between the police, the CPS, defence and the defendants.

“Everyone deserves the highest level of confidentiality and utmost protection.”

This loss of confidential information follows a spate of similar incidents.

In January last year the Ministry of Defence lost a laptop containing the personal details of 600,000 people.

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) lost computer disks containing confidential details of 25 million child benefit recipients in November 2007.

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office, which promotes the protection of personal information and regulates the Data Protection Act, said: “Organisations which process personal data must take appropriate measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction of or damage to personal data.”

A Greenwich police spokesman says they will be in touch with the solicitors.