Student Who Leaked Frances Abbott's School Records Escapes Jail Sentence

Unless you've been living under a rock (which sounds rather uncomfortable), you would have heard the uproar spread around the nation when it was revealed that Frances Abbott, daughter of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was awarded a $60,000 scholarship to a prestigious private design school. The student who leaked that data to the world has today escaped a potential two year jail term.

Freya Newman, the student at the centre of the data leak, plead guilty to accessing restricted data, which carries a maximum penalty of two years' jail time.

Newman accessed the data when she was a part-time librarian at the Whitehouse School of Design, believed it was a matter of public interest and turned whistleblower to leak the information.

Unfortunately, because the Whitehouse School of Design is a private institution and not a public one, Newman wasn't covered by Australia's whistleblower protection laws.

The accused was able to breathe a sigh of relief in a Sydney court today, however, after the Magistrate placed a two-year good behaviour bond on the student, despite insistence by police that a conviction be recorded. [SMH]

Image: Lisa Maree Williams / Getty

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