Ex-NSW Cop Spared Jail For Sharing Woman's Intimate Photos
A former police officer who accessed extremely intimate photos from the phone of a woman he'd arrested, and then shared them with his colleagues, has escaped jail time.
Steven Albee, 29, tried to hide his face behind a newspaper as he was escorted from court on Tuesday, dramatically calling paramedics to the Downing Centre court as media waited to speak to him outside.
Just minutes earlier Albee had been given a two-year good behaviour bond by the Magistrate, after pleading guilty to using a carriage service to harass, menace or offend.
The incident happened in April 2017, when Albee pulled a woman over for a roadside drug test. She refused the test and was taken to a nearby police station.
That's where Albee used police software, known as Cellebrite, to access the photos on the woman phone.
He found three she'd taken of her vagina, and one of her partner's penis and torso.
Albee has admitted he then uploaded the two of the photos to a Facebook group chat he shared with four other officers. Shortly after the photos were uploaded the facebook group was closed.
The statement of facts provided to the court says the female victim was upset and embarrassed when she was told the photos had been shared, while her partner was described as angry and upset.
Both confirmed the photos were taken for private each other, and neither gave permission for them to be accessed or shared.
In court the Magistrate said had it not been for a confidential letter, provided to the court by police, she would have imposed a custodial sentence.
"You need to understand, the community needs to understand this is serious," Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson said.
Earlier, the police prosecutor Karthigeyan Kanagasabapathy said Albee’s actions were 'flagrantly against' community expectations.
"(Albee) was a serving police officer, using the powers of a serving police officer, and using the resources available to them," he said.
Outside court Albee's lawyer said he had quit the police force after it was exposed.
"He's horrified he's lost his career he's paid a very, very heavy price," Warrick Anderson said.
The court was told Albee was suffering from PTSD as a result of his work with the police force.
"He's got some serious medical problems that predate this issue -- but for having to come to court today he'd be at home or in hospital -- he got out of his sick bed to be here," Anderson said.