Queensland policeman stood down from duty over charge for leaking DV complainant’s address
Elizabeth complained about Mr Punchard in June 2016 after her address was allegedly leaked to her former partner. (ABC News)
A Brisbane police officer accused of leaking a domestic violence complainant’s address to her former partner has been stood down from official duty after charges were laid against him last week.
- Senior Constable Neil Punchard has been stood down pending his court appearance next month
- He allegedly leaked a woman’s address to her former partner, who was subject to a DV order
- It was revealed this year Queensland police had revived an investigation into the matter
Earlier this year, the ABC revealed Queensland police had revived an investigation into Senior Constable Neil Punchard, 52, who in 2014 allegedly accessed the confidential police database Q-PRIME to look up a woman’s person details.
Senior Constable Punchard allegedly then passed on information, including the woman’s address, to her former partner who was subject to an ongoing domestic violence order.
Elizabeth (not her real name for legal reasons) reported the incident to Queensland police in 2016, after allegedly discovering text messages on a phone she owned.
It will be alleged the messages were sent by Senior Constable Punchard to the woman’s former partner saying: “Just tell her you know it now via freedom of information?”
“She will be pissed … Even better just tell her you know where she lives and leave it at that. Lol. She will flip.
Senior Constable Neil Punchard is due to face court on January 30. (Queensland Police Service)
“I await the email and her reply. Lol. She will f***ing explode. Lmao.”
Elizabeth said the address allegedly sent to her former partner was where she was living and that she and her family were forced to move.
Following media coverage and criticism from the Crime and Corruption Commission, Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart met with Elizabeth in May and ordered a review of the internal investigation.
In a statement, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) said the matter would be subject to further consideration within their disciplinary system.
“The officer was the subject of an investigation that he conducted unauthorised searches on Queensland Police Service information systems not connected with official duties,” the QPS statement said.
“This does not mean that the allegations against the officer have been substantiated.”
Elizabeth told the ABC she was told about the charges by police last Friday and felt “relieved and grateful”.
“I’m relieved that finally I can experience some form of justice … finally after going through this battle for over two years,” she said.
“I’m happy that finally Queensland police have acted because it was a horrible ordeal to go through.”
Elizabeth has launched legal action against QPS seeking compensation over the alleged misuse of her private information.
Senior Constable Punchard was served with a notice to appear in court and is expected to face the Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 30.