Neil Punchard has won a court appeal but is waiting to learn whether he will keep his job as a police officer. Picture: AAP
Neil Punchard has won a court appeal but is waiting to learn whether he will keep his job as a police officer. Picture: AAP

Top cop under pressure to sack DV leak officer

Pressure is mounting on Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll to sack a cop who leaked the address of a domestic violence victim to her abusive ex-partner.

Senior Constable Neil Punchard was last year handed a suspended jail sentence for nine computer hacking charges, but last week had the penalty reduced to community service on appeal and his conviction overturned.

The disgusted victim has written personally to the Commissioner, while an online petition calling for the sacking of the officer, who has been stood down on full pay for more than two years, by yesterday had gathered more than 30,000 signatures in just three days.

The change.org petition, launched by Doctors Against Violence Towards Women, says the controversial cop must be dismissed from the police service.

In 2016, The Courier-Mail revealed Punchard had used the QPS police database to find the address of a woman for a childhood friend, who happened to be the woman's ex-partner and was subject to a restraining order.

Neil Punchard has won a court appeal but is waiting to learn whether he will keep his job as a police officer. Picture: AAP
Neil Punchard has won a court appeal but is waiting to learn whether he will keep his job as a police officer. Picture: AAP

The two friends then joked in a series of text messages about how she would react.

"Just tell her you know where she lives and leave it at that. Lol. She will flip," read one message from Punchard to his friend.

In another message he laughed that she would "f***ing explode".

After Judge Craig Chowdhury last week ruled for Punchard's suspended jail sentence be reduced to 140 hours' community service, the victim wrote directly to Ms Carroll demanding he be sacked.

In a statement last Tuesday, the Commissioner said she was considering the outcome of the appeal.

Asked again at the weekend and again yesterday, a QPS spokeswoman for the QPS said there would not be an update before the end of this week.

The victim, who moved house after the ordeal and reached a private settlement with the QPS, said that was not good enough and the thousands of people who had signed the petition were demanding action.

"I am so overwhelmed with the amount of support," she said.

"It just reinforces to me that this officer does not deserve to be in the police service."

She said she had not received a reply to her emails from the Commissioner.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll is facing public pressure to sack Punchard from the QPS.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll is facing public pressure to sack Punchard from the QPS.


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