Toowoomba Courthouse Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
Toowoomba Courthouse Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

Woman who stole from employer escapes jail time

A TOOWOOMBA woman who ripped off her employer of $3500 has been sentenced to 12 months' jail and ordered to pay back the money.

However, Magistrate Kay Ryan ordered Rebecca Jayne Robinson be released into the community on immediate parole and transferred the restitution to SPER (State Penalties Enforcement Registry).

Robinson had been employed by a company in Toowoomba where she had been given a company laptop computer and shown how to invoice customers and access the company accounts.

However, throughout February and March last year, the 37-year-old had made seven transactions of $500 each from the company account into her own bank account, police prosecutor Senior Constable Al Windsor told the court.

When spoken to about the transactions, she had initially denied being aware of the money but said if it was in her account she would repay it.

However, the money had not been repaid, Snr Const. Windsor said.

Robinson pleaded guilty to seven counts of stealing by clerks or servants.

Her solicitor Amber Acreman told the court it was conceded her client had previous dishonesty offences on her criminal history and that a jail term was within range.

However, handing a psychological report on her client to the court, Ms Acreman submitted her client had been diagnosed with a number of mental health issues and such offending arose from her client going through stressful times.

At the time of this offending her client had been caring for her grandmother and her grandmother's partner leading to significant anxiety, she said.

Robinson expressed "significant regret" and had since sought medical help and was accepted into an intense 18-month program run by Queensland Health to deal with her issues, she said.

Her client had not been employed since this incident, Ms Acreman submitted.

Magistrate Ryan told Robinson her offending was a breach of trust and very serious.

However, noting the steps she had been taking to address her issues and that the 37-year-old had spent some time in a mental health unit since the offending period, Ms Ryan said she would release the defendant on parole immediately.