Pharmacist busted for hacking business
A PHARMACIST who hacked his former workplace's computer system and tried to take screenshots of information has been ordered to undergo an ethical decision making course.
Christopher John De Lisle Hammond, 35, accessed the Priceline Computer network on February 26, 2015, two months after his contract ended and he started his own company.
Hammond, who was a compounding pharmacist at the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre store before leaving, tried to take a screenshot of an "index of the contents of a folder" twice.
Another employee cut Hammond's access 21 minutes later.
Hammond pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court on March 9, 2016 to using a restricted computer without consent and was fined $700, with no convictions recorded.
In a recent decision by the Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal Hammond's behaviour was deemed professional misconduct.
Judicial Member John Robertson said Hammond's offending was serious as his contract was terminated and he tried to screenshot the information during the 21-minute period.
He said the conduct happened in circumstances where Hammond's departure was "acrimonious" while he also had created a competing business.
"Mr Hammond's conduct can be properly characterised as unlawfully attempting to obtain a commercial advantage by accessing the intellectual property of another pharmacist without consent," Mr Robertson said in his decision.
But he noted the former employer had not taken steps to terminate his "peer to peer rights".
He did not accept that the conduct was dishonest, but rather a breach of trust and breach of commercial confidence.
According to the decision, Hammond had been cautioned before by the Pharmacist Board of Queensland back in 2013, after a complaint by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
This complaint was a result of supplying "Nurophen+" online without appropriate assessment of the buyer.
He was again cautioned in the wake of the hacking ordeal, the decision said, but there had been no evidence of further misconduct.
Mr Robertson said Hammond's history indicated a "practitioner who has a poor understanding of his ethical obligations as a professional pharmacist".
Hammond was ordered to complete an ethical decision making course within six months.
"His history, and now a positive finding of professional misconduct will hopefully act as a specific deterrent to him in his future practice," Mr Robertson said.
"Hopefully he has growing insight into the high ethical and professional standards that are expected of a pharmacist."