A former Victorian police officer has avoided jail after repeatedly misusing the force's database to look up a woman's details and then turning up at her house.
Steven John McGillivray, 50, was convicted in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday after pleading guilty to misconduct in public office and inappropriately accessing the woman's details four times between 2014 and 2017.
His victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says she was "scared half to death" when McGillivray turned up on her Melbourne doorstep in May 2017 after looking up the address.
"I was no longer safe in my home or my community," she said in a statement to the court.
"I was hyper-vigilant, fearful of sleeping in case he arrived in the middle of the night."
McGillivray was initially charged with accessing the woman's details "to engage in inappropriate contact and continue an inappropriate sexual relationship" but this accusation was later dropped.
His barrister, Jason Gullaci, conceded McGillivray's access of the police database was improper and unprofessional.
But he said all but one of the checks were done at the victim's request. These included criminal history checks.
Once, she rang McGillivray at work and left a message asking him to return the call. Because she did not leave a number, the officer looked it up.
He had genuine feelings for the victim, Mr Gullaci said.
He added his client had acted respectfully when he turned up at the woman's home after looking up the address without her knowing.
The victim was home but didn't come out and complained to the force after finding a post-it note on the door.
"Hi ... just dropped by to say hello. Clearly you don't want me around. Hope all is well. Good luck, Steve," it read.
Mr Gullaci asked Magistrate Lance Martin to not record a conviction.
The former officer was remorseful and had already been punished by way of "salacious" media coverage and the loss of his 17-year police career, the barrister said.
McGillivray resigned from Victoria Police before being charged by Taskforce Salus, which investigates allegations of predatory behaviour by its officers.
He found another job but was fired after details of his case were reported.
Mr Martin agreed the man had been humiliated by earlier media reporting of accusations which were then dropped but not convicting him would sent the wrong message to the community.
McGillivray was sentenced to a one-year community corrections order, including 150 hours of community work.
Australian Associated Press