Adrian Moore was a 28-year veteran of the WA police force. He was even nominated for the award of ‘Western Australian Police Officer of the Year” in 2011.
But in a dramatic fall from grace, the former senior constable has been sentenced to six months in prison after pleading to 180 charges of illegally accessing the state’s police database.
Mr Moore pleaded guilty in Perth Magistrates Court to accessing the personal information of 92 women he had met, or interacted with, on dating websites such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
Moore was found to have accessed the details of one-third of the women several times, and one of the women 13 times over a six-year period.
While his criminal defence lawyers submitted their client’s actions arose out of “curiosity”, Magistrate Mark Andrews found that illegally accessing personal details over a 12 year period amounted to a ‘gross and sustained breach of trust”. His Honour determined that a prison sentence was necessary in order to send a strong message that in this digital age, custodians of protected data simply “cannot access information for their own benefit”.
The Magistrate also imposed a $2,000 after the defendant pleaded guilty to possessing images of bestiality.
The officer’s offending came to light when a victim complained last year that he had information that could not be obtained other than through the secure database.
Moore is now at liberty to appeal against the severity of his sentence.
Improper use of police database
As recently reported, former Queensland police officer Neil Punchard has been charged with multiple computer hacking offences after unlawfully accessing that state’s police database to provide his ‘mate’ with the new address of his former partner.
That ‘mate’ had, among other things, threatened to kill his ex, strap bombs to her children and blow them up as “martyrs”.
An internal police investigation found that senior constable Punchard illegally accessed the QPrime police database and provided the woman’s new address to his mate. After he did so, he sent a text message to that friend saying “Just tell her you know where she lives and leave it at that. Lol. She will flip.”
The victim is now fighting the Queensland Police Service for compensation. That case is currently before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), which will need to determine whether the QPS can be held responsible for the actions of one of its officers. This is after the tribunal found the officer cannot be held personally responsible for such privacy breaches.
The barrister for the QPS is arguing that the service cannot be responsible for the rogue actions of an officer. The woman is representing herself, as she cannot afford legal representation.
Mr Punchard’s criminal proceedings are currently going through Brisbane Magistrate’s Court.
The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has also re-opened investigations into the officer after allegations emerged during the QCAT hearing that a car belonging to his abusive mate had been transferred into the officer’s name at around the same time he accessed and provided him with his ex’s details.
Police originally tried to suppress this information, submitting that it had nothing to do with the victim’s compensation case. However, the CCC has acknowledged that it raises the possibility of corruption.
Part 6 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prohibits a range of conduct relating to the unauthorised use of, and access to, electronic and digital data.
Section 308C, which falls within that Part, sets down a maximum penalty equivalent to the intended offence where a person causes an unauthorised computer function with the intention of committing a serious indictable offence, which is a crime that carries a maximum penalty of at least five years in prison.
Section 308D prescribes a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment where a person knowingly or recklessly causes the modification of computer data to impair access to or the reliability, security or operation of the data.
Section 308E imposes a maximum prison sentence of ten years for knowingly or recklessly causing any unauthorised impairment of an electronic communication to or from a computer.
Section 308F provides that a person who possesses or controls data with the intention of committing or facilitating a serious computer offence is liable to a maximum penalty of three years in prison.
A serious computer offence is defined by section 308 as an offence against section 308C, 308D or 308E or a similar offence in another jurisdiction.
Section 308G sets a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment for producing, supplying or obtaining data with the intention of committing or facilitating a serious computer offence.
Section 308H is a ‘summary offence’, which means it must be dealt with in the local court, rather committed to a higher court such as the district court.
The section prescribes a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment for any person who:
- causes unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data held in a computer, and
- knows that the access or modification is unauthorised, and
- intends to cause that access or modification.
Restricted data is defined as that which is held in a computer, being data to which access is restricted by an access control system associated with a function of the computer.
Section 308I is also a summary offence and sets down a maximum penalty of two years in prison for:
- causing unauthorised impairment of the reliability, security or operation of any data held on a computer disk, credit card or other device used to store data by electronic means,
- while knowing the impairment is unauthorised, and
- with the intention of causing that impairment.
Commonwealth computer offences
In addition to state and territory laws, the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) imposes prohibitions which apply across Australia.
Section 477.1 sets down a maximum penalty equivalent to the intended offence where a person causes:
- any unauthorised access to, or modification of impairment of, data held in a computer;
- knows the access, modification or impairment is unauthorised; and
- intends to commit, or facilitate the commission of, an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory which attracts a maximum penalty of at least five years by the access, modification or impairment.
Section 477.2 prescribes a ten year maximum penalty for a person who:
- causes unauthorised modification of data held in a computer; and
- knows the modification is unauthorised; and
- is reckless as to whether the modification impairs or will impair access to that or any other data held in any computer, or the reliability, security or operation, of any such data.
Section 477.3 imposes the same ten year maximum penalty for a person who:
- causes any unauthorised impairment of electronic communication to or from a computer; and
- knows that the impairment is unauthorised.
Section 478.1 of the Act prescribes a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment for a person who causes unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data; in circumstances where he or she:
- intends to cause the access or modification; and
- knows that the access or modification is unauthorised.
Restricted data is defined as that which is held in a computer, and to which access is restricted by an access control system associated with a function of the computer.
Section 478.2 imposes the same maximum penalty for a person who the causes any unauthorised impairment of the reliability, security or operation of data held on a computer disk, credit card or other storage device where the person:
- intends to cause the impairment; and
- knows that the impairment is unauthorised.
Charged with a computer offence?
If you are suspected of unauthorised use of computer data, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® anytime on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a conference at one of our many office locations across Sydney, in Newcastle or Wollongong, or by telephone or Skype.
If you are going to court, we offer a free first consultation with an experienced criminal defence lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options and the best way forward.
Former principal Daniel Noel Bralich escapes further jail time after admitting ‘horrible’ stalking of ex-wife, police stand-off
A former primary school principal has avoided further jail time after admitting to a terrifying stalking campaign against his former wife that culminated in a two-hour stand-off with armed police on a normally quiet Perth street.
Daniel Noel Bralich, pictured, was the headmaster of Hillcrest Primary School.
But a spiralling mental breakdown after the break-up of his marriage led police to attempt to serve him with a violence restraining order and confiscate his licensed firearms last June.
When police turned up at his Jolimont address, Bralich was in the grips of a psychotic breakdown and began threatening police that he would “end them”.
The heavily armed tactical response group were called in to negotiate and eventually arrested the 50-year-old after the siege forced the closure of part of Selby Street during peak-hour traffic.
Bralich spent almost seven months in prison on remand and since February has been on strict home detention bail awaiting sentencing over charges of stalking, creating a false belief and breaching a violence restraining order.
That sentence came this week, when Magistrate Deen Potter jailed him for 15 months, suspended for 18 months, saying the things he had said to his wife in up to 50 phone calls a day were “horrible”.
“I’m going to expose all of you, I’m going to shoot you all down, see you lying in the gutter bleeding and then I am going to stamp on your f…ing skull,” Bralich said in one phone call.
“Take 20 years of my emotions and throw them out like they are f…ing s…,” he said in another.
“You are a f…ing toxic animal, you are a f…ing beast.”
Magistrate Potter warned the former educator he needed to take the blame for his own actions and must move on from them.
He also said a string of Facebook messages recently posted by Bralich showed he still had a “long, long way to go”.
Bralich’s lawyer Mark Andrews said undiagnosed depression and misdiagnosed ADHD had contributed to his mental state at the time.
THE 46-year-old man involved in a sea biscuit incident in the Koombana Bay ski area where a 15-year-old girl was airlifted to a Perth hospital with serious injuries has been sentenced in court.
Kevin Alan Whyatt faced Magistrate Brian Mahon at the Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday, February 29.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of culpably driving a conveyance involved directly or indirectly in an incident causing grievous bodily harm.
The charge relates to an incident on January 6 where Whyatt was the skipper of a Sea-Ray 185 sports ski which is an 18-foot vessel with a 220 horsepower in-board motor.
About 1.05pm, Whyatt had six passengers on board his vessel and towed two behind the boat including 15-year-old Amie Lee Clamp and one other 15-year-old boy.
While towing the biscuit, he turned the boat left and then right with the aim of making the biscuits bounce over the waves made by the boat.
About 1.15pm, Whyatt drove the vessel towards the jetty outside of Mash Brewery and turned sharply but the biscuits collided with another vessel moored at the jetty.
The court heard Whyatt breached water regulations by driving the vessel within the regulated 45 metres of a jetty and exceeded the prescribed eight knots per hour limit.
Injuries sustained by the 15-year-old girl included swelling and bleeding on the brain.
The boy was taken to Bunbury Regional Hospital.
There was no victim impact statement read in court and she is expected to make a full recovery.
Whyatt, supported in court by the girl’s father who was also the boat’s spotter on the day, is a father of two with no criminal history.
His lawyer Mark Andrews said Whyatt was selling the vessel and was regretful of the incident.
Magistrate Mahon said while the girl’s father spoke highly of Whyatt, he needed to impose a sentence which was appropriate and also a warning to the community.
“I’m not sure whether this was complacency or oversight but my sentence needs to mark the seriousness of the incidence but also doesn’t crush you,” he said.
“It also needs to make a note for other water users to be safe.
“I can see you have lost a few nights sleep over this.”
Magistrate Mahon acknowledged the family of the young girl there supporting him and also his early plea of guilty.
He fined Whyatt $8000 and ordered him to pay court costs of $88.50.
Alexander Heights: terminally ill man charged with wife’s murder granted bail, wanted to ‘put her out of her misery
A TERMINALLY ill man charged with murdering his 83-year-old wife in Alexander Heights told police he wanted to put her out of her misery, a Perth court has heard.
Harold Barclay (85) is accused of strangling to death his wife Nancy, who had Alzheimer’s disease, at their home on January 24.
Mr Barclay was initially taken to hospital but was later moved to Casuarina Prison.
The WA Supreme Court heard on Wednesday during a bail application hearing that Ms Barclay failed to take her sleeping tablets and Mr Barclay found her sitting at a dining table at 5am the next day.
Ms Barclay collapsed when he tried to help her and he then allegedly strangled his wife, later telling police he wanted to put her out of her misery.
The couple had been married for 63 years and Mr Barclay was her full-time carer.
The State did not oppose Mr Barclay’s bail application.
Justice Lindy Jenkins also accepted it was an exceptional case and granted Barclay bail with conditions, including a $50,000 personal undertaking and $50,000 surety.
He must also live with his daughter and abide by a curfew between 9pm and 6am.
Outside court, Mr Barclay’s lawyer Mark Andrews said his client was “gravely ill”.
“His prognosis is very poor,” Mr Andrews said.
“This is a most unusual circumstance, very extenuating.
“In all the circumstances, we all agreed that it was fair and just that he be granted bail.”
Mr Barclay is next due to face Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on March 28.
A HIGH school teacher has appeared briefly in a Perth court today charged with 48 child sex offences.
The 34-year-old Canning Vale woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was employed at a metropolitan high school when the abuse was alleged to have happened.
Police issued a statement in September which said they had charged the woman with 12 child sex offences relating to one female student.
The incidents were alleged to have happened between 2015 and this year when the girl was aged between 15 and 17 years old.
During a short hearing in the Perth Magistrate’s Court today, the woman’s lawyer, Mark Andrews, said the woman was now facing an extra 36 charges.
The case was adjourned and the woman’s bail was renewed on a $5000 personal undertaking.
She is also required to comply to several strict conditions, including that she surrender her passport and not contact the alleged victims or be unsupervised around children under 16 years old.
A former managing director of the Njamal Mining company in Western Australia’s Pilbara is to stand trial in the mining town of Port Hedland on a charge of common assault in circumstances of aggravation or racial aggravation.
In the Joondalup Magistrate’s Court in Perth’s north today, Magistrate Gregory Benn transferred proceedings against Sharon Lee Westerman to the town, 1752km north of Perth, after hearing witnesses in the case were based there.
The case is now due to come up in the South Hedland Courthouse on June 8 for a trial allocation.
Ms Westerman is not required to appear in the court on that date and her lawyer can appear via an audio link-up from Perth.
The case had been scheduled to go to trial on June 18 in Joondalup, but Ms Westerman’s lawyers today asked Magistrate Benn to change that date so she could attend a memorial service for her son who was last year killed in a workplace accident.
Ms Westerman, now of the Perth suburb of Landsdale, did not appear in court today.
She is pleading not guilty to the assault charge.
As first reported by NIT last week, Ms Westerman is also to face trial in Perth in June on four unrelated charges of stealing as a servant.
Ms Westerman appeared in Perth Magistrates Court last Tuesday over the charges, which relate to a total amount of $14,106.
She has pleaded not guilty.
Chief Magistrate Steven Heath set the stealing case down for a two-day hearing on June 28 and 29.
He renewed Ms Westerman’s bail.
The stealing charges relate to four amounts of money allegedly stolen on separate occasions in 2015.
Njamal Mining Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Njamal People’s Trust, which was set up in 2003 for the benefit of Indigenous people from the Njamal families in WA’s Pilbara and which reaps $4.5 million in mining royalties annually.
Ms Westerman was managing director of Njamal Mining from 2013 to August 2015.
She later became known as a champion of workplace safety in WA after her son Lee Buzzard, a diesel fitter at Rio Tinto’s Channar Mine east of Paraburdoo, was killed in a workplace incident.
An ex-police officer from WA who accessed the personal details of almost 100 women using a police computer, the majority of which he found through dating websites or apps, has been jailed for six months.
Adrian Trevor Moore, 48, pleaded guilty to 180 charges in total, including 177 unlawful computer access-related charges.
Moore was also caught with videos and images of women engaged in sex acts with dogs and horses when internal affairs detectives searched his Kelmscott home last year.
Extensive details surrounding Moore’s offending were revealed for the first time in the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday.
The court was told between 2006 and 2018 Moore, while a Senior Constable with WA Police, accessed the personal details of 92 women.
The majority of the women whose details he accessed via the restricted access police system were women he had dated or was considering dating via Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
The court was told 33 of the women had details including their date of birth and addresses accessed multiple times.
One victim was looked up 13 times over several years, while another victim was searched six times.
Moore joined the force in 1990 and was nominated for police officer of the year in 2011, the court was told.
He looked up the women’s details while working at the Perth and Cannington police stations.
His defence lawyer Mark Andrews told the court Moore had “struggled to find his soulmate” and that his past relationships with women had left him with emotional scars.
He said he looked the women up to essentially find out if they were people he could associate with and to make sure they did not have any criminal associations, given his role as a police officer.
“That’s really what motivated his offending from beginning to end,” Mr Andrews said, adding his client had suffered a “high degree of public ridicule” since the charges came to light.
Moore was stood down from duty in March once he was charged by internal affairs investigators.
He resigned from the force in May and is now a boilermaker.
The internal investigation was launched after one of Moore’s female victims came forward to police in January last year.
Moore told the author of a psychological report that he carried out his crimes partially due to curiosity but also boredom with his job and during slow periods at work.
Magistrate Geoff Lawrence said Moore’s offending was too great for a suspended jail term because he had abused his position of trust within the police.
He said Moore’s crimes were a gross breach of trust and that he had effectively embarked on a process of “vetting” potential partners since 2006.
“He did it intentionally, he knew the dangers,” Mr Lawrence said.
“This man knows that he’s done wrong. You (Moore) made a serious error. You made it time and time again.”
Mr Lawrence said such offending had the capability to cause the public to lose confidence in public officials.
Outside court Moore’s defence lawyer Mark Andrews said he had no instructions to appeal the jail term.
“I think the case sends a signal to anyone who has access to a restricted access computer,” he said.
“He understands that he did the wrong thing and he’s paying the price for that.”
His six month term will start from today.
He was also fined $2000 for possessing the bestiality material.
A man used the excuse he was running late for a church service when he was caught more than 40 kilometres over the speed limit earlier this year.
In the Northam Magistrates Court on Monday of last week James Richard Bagshaw pleaded guilty to driving at 97 kilometres per hour in a 50 kilometre zone on Throssell Street after he was captured by a speed camera at 7.30pm on April 4.
Mr Bagshaw’s lawyer Mark Andrews, from Perth, asked the court to take into account his client’s early guilty plea and co-operation with police.
Police prosecuting sergeant Maria McComish told the court that the father of four had previously lost his licence after accruing too many demerit points.
Perth Magistrate Gregory Smith denied an application for a spent conviction and was not convinced that Mr Bagshaw would not reoffend, given his previous record.
Mr Bagshaw was fined $1000 and $188 in court costs.
Lynton John Moore, 30, was one of hundreds of men arrested after a global operation to track down the client list of a Canadian-hosted website which allowed customers to trade and purchase child sex images and videos.
In June, Moore was raided by his WA police colleagues who found more than 20,000 images and videos featuring boys as young as seven being exploited.
He also refused to hand over the password to the hard disks containing the images – which Judge Ronald Birmingham said were “vile and degrading”.
“To say these images were disturbing is an understatement,”
Judge Birmingham said.
Moore, who briefly worked as a teacher before joining the police, was a decorated detective when he was arrested, having received a commendation for attempting to revive a murder victim, and being involved in church activities.
But lawyer Mark Andrews said his client also had deep underlying emotional and psychological issues including a lack of strategies to cope with job stresses.
He had lost his job as a result of the charges, Perth District Court was told, and as a former detective he will have to serve his sentence in a segregated special handling unit.
Moore pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing the material found in his home, and was sentenced to two years and six months in prison. He will be eligible for parole.
In all, more than 60 men and over 400 charges have been laid as part of Operation Thunderer, the Australian arm of the global operation emanating out of Canada.
That operation, codenamed Project Spade, was launched three years ago by Toronto police and is believed to have disbanded a global child abuse ring, and led to the arrest of almost 350 suspects worldwide.
Seven men from WA – including priests and teachers – were last week charged with various offences related to their alleged involvement.
An American man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for causing a crash on Perth’s outskirts that killed his wife and a toddler, and injured four others.
Jerome Rubin, 61, from Massachusetts drove on the wrong side of the road in Bedfordale in March this year, and crashed head-on into another car.
Rubin’s wife Joan, 60, died at the scene, while a two-year-old girl who was in the other car, Carmen Julius, died in hospital the next day.
Rubin’s daughter was injured along with the father, mother and grandfather of the toddler.
The District Court was told despite road signs showing the road was a single lane, Rubin believed he was still driving on a dual carriageway.
His lawyer Mark Andrews described his client as a man of “impeccable character” who had no previous traffic or criminal convictions.
He said Rubin had wanted to take part in mediation with the toddler’s family but they had refused, and Mr Andrews said his client respected their decision.
“He sits before you a broken man,” Mr Andrews told the judge.
“He’s racked with the guilt knowing he caused the death of his own wife … and Carmen … and caused serious injury to his own daughter and three other people.”
Mr Andrews said the crash was the result of Rubin’s unfamiliarity with driving in Australia and he had otherwise been an extremely cautious and conscientious driver.
Judge Michael Bowden accepted that Rubin was genuinely remorseful and that he was of otherwise excellent character, but he said the offences were so serious that an immediate jail term was needed.
He also accepted that jail would be difficult for Rubin because of his age and poor health and because he was far away from his family.
“[But] at the end of the day, it’s so serious because of the deaths of two people, the grievous bodily harm to three others and the bodily harm to another,” Judge Bowden said.
“Regrettably, a suspended sentence would fail to adequately reflect the serious nature of the offences.”
Rubin will have to serve nine months before he can be released.