An officer from Queensland’s crime watchdog has escaped jail for giving a secret document to his son, who then put it on the internet.
Crime and Misconduct Commission officer Michael Gerard Briody, 63, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday to one count of contravening secrecy.
He received a wholly suspended sentence of eight months.
Briody lost his job in September after leaking a confidential research report about future strategies for tackling major crime relating to trading in virtual currency on the internet.
Prosecutor Todd Fuller said Briody printed the document and took it home to give to his son, who had expressed an interest in reading it.
His son, who has drug and health problems, then published it online, the court heard.
Defence lawyer Brendan Ryan said Briody had never intended the document, which was tendered in court but sealed in an envelope, to be publicly released.
"He brought it home so that his son and he could have something to discuss," Mr Ryan said.
"At no stage did he maliciously or intentionally desire to embarrass the CMC."
Mr Fuller told the court the leak did not affect any ongoing investigations but the full extent of the impact might not be known for some time.
The document was still online, Mr Fuller said, because applying to pull it down would bring it to the attention of administrators of the online forum where it was posted.
"It’s the lesser of two evils to let the document sit as it is," Mr Fuller said.
Magistrate Wendy Cull acknowledged Briody was a man of ‘‘extremely good character’’, but said he had let his personal life affect his sound judgment.