Former prison guard Neil Robert Newman pleaded guilty to using restricted computer without consent at Wolston Correctional Centre.
Former prison guard Neil Robert Newman pleaded guilty to using restricted computer without consent at Wolston Correctional Centre.

Prison guard used computer to snoop on inmates

A former Brisbane prison guard who unlawfully accessed a restricted computer system that contained sensitive information about inmates on 69 occasions has been fined.

Neil Robert Newman 39, pleaded guilty today to using a restricted computer without consent.

The Brisbane Magistrates Court heard he was a guard at Wolston Correctional Centre when the Crime and Corruption Commission launched a probe into the jail in 2017.

Former prison guard Neil Robert Newman pleaded guilty to using restricted computer without consent at Wolston Correctional Centre.
Former prison guard Neil Robert Newman pleaded guilty to using restricted computer without consent at Wolston Correctional Centre.

The CCC found Newman conducted 69 unlawful checks on the internal computer system between March and July 2017. He was later suspended.

Police prosecutor Sgt Duncan Erskine said 48 of the checks were on women.

"(The checks) had no connection to the Wolston Correctional Centre ... and they had no relation to his job description, particularly the checks on the females," he said.

Newman was charged in 2019 after declining to take part in a formal interview with the CCC.

Newman's lawyer Brendan Beavon said his client had told him that improper access of the computer system was a "systemic problem" within Corrective Services.

"Mr Newman accesses these profiles out of boredom and curiosity," he said.

Former prison guard Neil Robert Newman pleaded guilty to using restricted computer without consent at Wolston Correctional Centre.
Former prison guard Neil Robert Newman pleaded guilty to using restricted computer without consent at Wolston Correctional Centre.

"He comes to court very embarrassed to be here and remorseful.

"His offending's at the lower end of the scale in terms of seriousness."

Magistrate Bronwyn Springer said Newman had breached the trust placed in him but there was nothing to suggest the information had been provided to others.

"I accept that working within correctional facilities is difficult and stressful however, that is no excuse for doing what you did," she said.

Stating Newman was otherwise of good character Ms Springer fined him $3500 but did not record a conviction.



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