National

Queensland police leaker appeals sentence

By AAP Newswire

A Queensland police officer who encouraged a mate to "let loose" on his ex-wife after leaking to him the domestic violence survivor's address has appealed the severity of his sentence.

Neil Glen Punchard, 54, received a wholly suspended two-month jail sentence in October last year after pleading guilty to nine counts of computer hacking in 2013 and 2014.

The now-suspended senior constable is also likely to be sacked after handing the information from the police database to his friend, who was involved in a bitter split from his partner.

He then further "inflamed" the situation by providing the man with advice about what to say to the victim in a series of derogatory rants, prosecutor Angus Edwards told the Brisbane District Court on Friday.

"He called her a bitch. He said to f*** her over. He said the bitch needs to fall on her own sword for the battle she started," he said.

"He would say things like 'I know you're screaming on the inside. Let loose on her'."

Mr Angus opposed Punchard's appeal, saying he had breached the trust placed in him by the community and knowingly placed the woman at risk.

"His job was to protect members of the public ... and he behaved in the exact opposite way to what was expected of him," Mr Angus said.

"He used to his position to make an already bad situation worse."

Punchard's lawyer disagreed, saying the sentence imposed on his client was too harsh.

Jeffrey Hunter QC told the court the sentencing magistrate had placed too much weight on the harm the leak had caused to the woman.

"Whilst it is true the estranged wife did suffer detriment, that detriment is almost entirely, if not completely, as a result of the conduct of the estranged husband, not (Punchard)."

He said Punchard was charged with computer hacking, not sending text messages or harming the woman.

Punchard only agreed to release the address after the ex-wife failed to obey a court order requiring her to share her address to allow access to the couple's children, he said.

"Furthermore, the husband already knew the street and street number where she lived," Mr Hunter said.

"(His) conduct, serious though it was, did not require a term of imprisonment," he said.

"He faces the prospect of dismissal as a consequence."

Mr Hunter said Punchard should have been fined with no conviction recorded.

Punchard is currently suspended on salary following a distinguished career in traffic policing.

Judge Craig Chowdhury reserved his decision.