Toowoomba police officer found guilty
A TOOWOOMBA policeman has been found guilty of accessing a restricted computer without permission.
Detective Senior Constable Jeffrey Muller had pleaded not guilty to the charge which was in breach of Queensland Police Service policy which stated access to restricted computers only be made by those directly involved in the particular case.
Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard the case arose from a car versus bicycle crash on Margaret/Lindsay Sts roundabout on April 18 last year.
The 41-year-old woman bike rider was taken to hospital with leg injuries while, after an investigation by Constable Heidi Timm, the driver of the vehicle was found at fault and handed a traffic infringement notice.
However, the injured woman had been unhappy with that outcome and made a complaint against Const. Timm.
Her investigation was examined by two branches of police crash investigation units which found her investigation to be correct, the court heard.
However, in evidence before the court, she said Snr Const. Muller, attached to the Child Protection Investigation Unit, had contacted her first by phone and then at the counter of the police station days later in regards to the investigation.
The court heard the injured woman was a work colleague of Snr Const. Muller's wife.
Const. Timm said Snr Const. Muller had shown her a photograph of the injured woman in hospital and she had spoken with the injured woman.
Senior Sergeant Peter Williams of the Ethical Standards Command told the court he had been tasked to check the police computer data base between April 18 and May 18 last year and found Snr Const. Muller accessed the data base by searching for the injured woman's name on two separate days, April 23 and 26, to open the report of the accident.
Snr Sgt Williams said to access specific cases on the QPS computer it was "widely known that it must be in conjunction with official duties".
Magistrate Kay Ryan said she could accept accessing the computer on the first occasion was to seek information but she had concerns for the second instance.
However, accepting Snr Const. Muller had not obtained any benefit from his actions and that his offending was at the lower end of the scale, Ms Ryan ordered the conviction not be recorded and placed him on a nine-month good behaviour bond.