Policemen rapped for outing sex-change woman

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 08 2009 07:35 AM | Updated as of Apr 08 2009 03:36 PM

SYDNEY - Two Australian police officers who told a prisoner his girlfriend was once a man were on Tuesday sentenced to 125 hours community service.

Once released from police lock-up, Garrick Jacobson broke into his girlfriend's home and assaulted her, telling a court in Sydney the news had "put him over the edge."

Constables Tyrone Stacey and Brendan Ritson admitted accessing Brigitte Fell's confidential police file and telling her boyfriend -- while he was in their custody -- that he had been having sex with a man.

Fell was born a man and had undergone gender reassignment surgery more than 12 years earlier.

Magistrate Glenn Bartley ordered the constables to perform 125 hours community service each for accessing the file and unlawfully disclosing its contents, saying the subsequent violence was "foreseeable".

"The information disclosed was extremely sensitive ... it was disclosed to embarrass and humiliate Mr. Jacobson," Bartley said.

"The offenders were trusted law enforcement officers ... to this day they have not shown even the slightest contrition or remorse."