Policeman impersonated neighbour after family threatened, court told

A former ACT police officer believed his family was in danger when he allegedly impersonated his neighbour and called in a noise complaint, a jury has heard.

William Stuart Anson Bonner, 56, is charged with the unauthorised access of data and dishonestly influencing a public official.

It is alleged Mr Bonner, while on duty as a police officer, accessed the internal police database to find information about his neighbours and then impersonate a neighbour while calling in a noise complaint.

The alleged offence came after months of tension between Mr Bonner's family and their neighbours who regularly threw all-night parties and allowed several dogs to bark constantly.

Mr Bonner's defence team did not argue that he did not commit the acts, but are relying on two defences to the charges that it was an emergency situation and that he was acting in the defence of his family.

The defences rely on Mr Bonner perceiving at the time that the only option he had available to him was to commit the offence.

However, crown prosecutor Kieran Ginges said Mr Bonner could not have believed his only option was to impersonate his neighbour.

The court heard evidence that on the night of the offence Mr Bonner had received two calls from his wife, about an hour and a half apart, while a party took place at their neighbours' house.

Mr Ginges said it was not until the second call that Mrs Bonner reported a neighbour coming to the front door, swearing and acting threateningly, but that it was after the first call that Mr Bonner had impersonated his neighbour.

After the second, panicked, call from his wife Mr Bonner used the police radio to inform attending officers that it was his family being threatened.

It was this discrepancy in Mr Bonner's reactions that Mr Ginges said showed he could not have thought his family were under threat when he allegedly committed the offence.

He said a police officer of 30 years experience, such as Mr Bonner, must have known what he was doing was wrong.

However, in Mr Bonner's defence, barrister James Stewart said his client's actions must be viewed with the background of the hostility between Mr Bonner and his neighbours.

The court heard the neighbours would sing "F--k you Stu" from their house and directed towards Mr Bonner. While giving evidence Mr Bonner told the court he had feared the neighbours' behaviour would escalate to violence.

It was the defence's position that considering the months of turmoil he had experienced due to his neighbours and the state his wife was in when she called him, Mr Bonner felt at that point that his only option was to take the course of action he did.

Two police officers, one a friend of Mr Bonner, gave evidence on Thursday that Mr Bonner seemed broken and defeated because of the situation with his neighbours.

One of the officers had attended the home on the night of the party and said their were at least two men who were disrespecting police and acting aggressively.

The jury retired to deliberate and decide their verdict.