A Queensland police sergeant has been fined after pleading guilty to illegally accessing personal details of dozens of people, including former Australian netball captain Laura Geitz.
Stephen Patrick Wright, 40, was fined $4000 without conviction after pleading guilty in Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday to a charge of using a restricted computer without consent.
The court heard Wright accessed the Queensland Police Service (QPS) computer database 80 times to access details of school friends, family members and Ms Geitz.
Wright’s lawyer Calvin Gnech told the court his client had been on sick leave since being charged last year and had submitted his medical retirement to the QPS shortly before Wednesday’s sentencing.
Mr Gnech said his client’s career had been derailed after attending several suicides, including one of a friend, and he had developed a mental illness.
“He’s a broken man,” Mr Gnech said.
“He won’t work again.”
Mr Gnech told the court it was unclear why Wright had undertaken the searches.
“When interviewed he claimed he did not know who the Australian netball captain was,” Mr Gnech said.
Magistrate Gary Finger said he was concerned by how many times Wright had accessed the database but conceded the work police undertake is often traumatic.
“Any police officer has a hideous role to perform,” Mr Finger said.
“That has had a horrific toll on your health.”