Former school aide escapes jail for sharing student details

COURT: Joshua Peter Bilyj leaving Ipswich Magistrates Court.
COURT: Joshua Peter Bilyj leaving Ipswich Magistrates Court. Rob Williams

A FORMER St Edmund's College employee who accessed a disabled student's personal information and sent it to a school friend as part of a joke has been sentenced to 180 hours community service.

Joshua Peter Bilyj, 19, pleaded guilty on Monday in Ipswich Magistrates Court to using a restricted computer without consent on July 23, 2015 at the school's Woodend campus.

The court heard Bilyj used a teacher's login to access a secure portal where he took a screenshot of the student's file on his phone and sent it his friend who he went to school with at same college.

Bilyj's offending came to light when his friend was later arrested and charged with possessing child exploitation material and the screenshot of the student and his personal details were located on his computer.

There was no evidence to suggest Bilyj was aware of his friend's alleged offending.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Donnolly said Bilyj's offending was a gross breach of trust and the court should denounce this type of behaviour.

He said given the nature of the offence he had trouble finding comparable cases to present to the court.

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said Bilyj had lost his job at St Edmund's College and with Ipswich City Council as a result of the offence.

He said he had since established his own entertainment lighting business.

"He maintained a friendship with this third person after they left school and that was the person he sent the picture and details to," he said.

"In his interview he told police it was a running joke between the two about this particular student.

"His behaviour was ill thought out and it was nothing more sinister than that.

"He did not realise the significance in passing on this information, but by pleading guilty he has recognised his mistake."

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the offending was a massive breach of trust on many levels.

She said the community had a right to know their personal information and details were secure in today's digital environment.

"The community is very concerned about people using computers to access personal information they are not entitled to access," she said.

"I accept that you were potentially unaware of the significance of what you were doing.

"There have been a number of breaches of trust in this matter, and you have also breached the trust of the community at large."

Magistrates Sturgess sentenced Bilyj to 180 community service which must be completed within a year.

No conviction was recorded.

Topics:  crime ipswich ipswich court st edmund's college

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