Suspended Mackay Police Constable Tristan William Lebherz, 28, is accused of attempting to pervert justice, misconduct in public office and 15 counts of using a restricted computer without consent to pass information to friend Narayan Rodwell.
Suspended Mackay Police Constable Tristan William Lebherz, 28, is accused of attempting to pervert justice, misconduct in public office and 15 counts of using a restricted computer without consent to pass information to friend Narayan Rodwell. Facebook

Cop accused of passing classified info to trafficking gym buddy

A MACKAY police constable facing corruption charges is accused of passing on classified information to a gym buddy and convicted ice trafficker.

Constable Tristan William Lebherz of Bucasia allegedly accessed police system data about fellow powerlifter Narayan Rodwell in 2015, prosecutor Paul Rutledge told Mackay Magistrates Court.

It's alleged Lebherz passed on operational information from the Queensland Police Records and Information Management Exchange (QPRIME).

The system logs crime reports and is used to capture intelligence and administrative information which supports policing activities

An "intelligence report concerned with drugs, gang affiliations, canvassed criminal organisations, firearms and methamphetamines" was mentioned by Mr Rutledge.

Rodwell, caught in a police raid in early 2016, was sentenced in September for charges including drug trafficking, assault and burglary with violence.

He was jailed for six years over his activity on the Fraser Coast but will be eligible for parole on July 1, 2019.

Meanwhile, Lebherz, 28, did not enter pleas to one count of attempting to pervert justice, misconduct in public office and 15 counts of using a restricted computer without consent.

He's on bail and has been suspended without pay while his case progresses.

The charges of perverting justice and misconduct were the subject of a committal hearing on Thursday, to see if there's enough evidence to escalate them to a higher court.

 

Narayan Rodwell.
Narayan Rodwell.

Lebherz sat in the front row of the courtroom on Thursday, watching on as the hearing played out before Magistrate John Aberdeen.

Mr Rutledge, on behalf of the Crime and Corruption Commission, handed up a number of screenshots to the magistrate, which he said demonstrated the information accessed.

"That QPRIME system records police intelligence and activities, amongst other things, with particular individuals," he said.

"The allegations are that the defendant was friendly with a man by the name of Narayan Rodwell and they knew each other through the membership of the gym here in Mackay and their joint membership of a powerlifting group.

"The allegations are that over a period of months the defendant accessed the QPRIME system and became aware in police interest of Rodwell ... This (tendered information) contains extracts from various screens on the QPRIME system."

However, defence barrister Jeffery Hunter said the QPRIME screenshots were taken this year - about two years after Lebherz is alleged to have accessed the system.

"The screenshots which are part of the prosecution brief and represent, so it's said, the material that was seen by the defendant do not purport to be an exact replica of what was viewed," the Queensland Police Union Legal Group representative said.

"But rather they are a screendump, or a screenshot, taken of the information on the system as of the date the screenshot was taken, which is some day earlier this year (in August).

"The significance may or may not be those screenshots - which are relied on by the prosecution in establishing what information was available to the defendant at the time the checks were made - don't necessarily reflect what was actually viewed at the time ... they represent what was seen on the screen when the screenshot was taken.

"The submission we make is in the end there's nothing in the data that would have informed the defendant that, for example, Mr Rodwell was the subject - as he was - of a police operation."

Mr Hunter said Lebherz was accused of telling "Mr Rodwell, who was at that stage moving between Hervey Bay and Mackay, that he should probably get out of Hervey Bay".

During the hearing, Mr Aberdeen noted he was baffled by jargon relating to information technology, while Mr Rutledge added he spent "hours being confused" ahead of the hearing.

The case was stood down for further discussion about potential witnesses and was ultimately adjourned until late January.



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