Cop who leaked DV victim’s address to 'terrify' learns fate
A Queensland police officer who leaked a woman's address to her allegedly violent ex-partner wanted her to be terrified.
But Senior Constable Neil Glen Punchard has avoided jail after pleading guilty to nine counts of using a restricted computer.
Punchard disclosed personal information about the woman and her partner to her former partner, a long-time friend of Punchard's, during a year-long period from 2013.
Crown prosecutor Angus Edwards said it was a "complete breach of trust" by Punchard, who had done the "exact opposite" of the role of a police officer - to protect.
"(He) put at risk somebody who was involved in an acrimonious separation," Mr Edwards told Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.
Punchard "inflamed" the situation by providing his friend with advice about what to say to the victim, the court heard.
"Just tell her you know where she lives and leave it at that. Lol she will flip," Punchard said in his correspondence with the ex-partner. He also said "f*** this bitch … is she f****** delirious? F*** her. No more negotiations".
Punchard drafted for him an email that was intended to "send to the bitch that will hopefully make her s*** herself".
He also advised, "you've been quiet for too long. I know you're screaming on the inside. Let loose on her".
"It's in that context that he provides the address where (the ex-partner) might find (the victim)," Mr Edwards said.
Punchard received a wholly suspended two-month jail sentence, with a conviction recorded.
He was charged in late 2018 after a series of "erroneous" decisions by police not to prosecute, Mr Edwards said.
Two police investigations cleared him before the Crime and Corruption Commission overturned those decisions.
Punchard's defence barrister rejected a claim by the victim her ex-partner had turned up at her place 12 times after being provided with the address. "This vile misuse and abuse of power has meant that I feel endlessly threatened and vulnerable," the victim said in a statement to the court. "I cannot comprehend how a person in such a trusted job could do such a horrible thing and think it would be without consequence." She said she has had to move home twice because of Punchard's actions. Last month, Punchard failed in a bid to have the charges thrown out on a technicality.
He argued the criminal investigation against him was tainted by the use of an interview he was forced to give during internal disciplinary proceedings.