$150,000 worth of dinner put through the
Pokies by Meals on Wheels employee.
A MEALS on Wheels employee has escaped a prison sentence after she admitted taking almost $150,000 of elderly customers’ dinner money to put through the pokies.
Magistrate Alison Viney sentenced Marlene Barry to nine months home detention for causing “community outrage.” - among other things
Barry pleaded guilty to stealing $148,000 from Meals on Wheels on the Northern Beaches over seven years while working as a clients account officer.
Her lawyer Peter Murphy said Barry had a “quite uncontrollable” gambling problem, at one stage spending between $20,000 and $45,000 a month at Pittwater RSL on the Northern Beaches.
THAT IS A GAMBLING ADDICTION RIGHT THERE!
Why is it someone can spend $45,000 a month at an RSL without them catching wind? Further evidence that RSLs are no longer about mateship and the ANZAC spirit but are in fact money grabbing pokie warehouses that are slowly spreading the disease of problem gambling across this country - one struggling demographic at a time
Visit RSLPokies.com and join the conversation
Police facts state her theft was discovered in September 2014, after she stopped working for Meals on Wheels, when the finance team discovered $6389.96 of the money she had collected had not been banked.
The Benevolent Society, who run Meals on Wheels, hired forensic investigators to look into the banking of cash payments by Barry and found she had been skimming the money collected.
When interviewed by police Barry said she had used the money on “personal living expenses to pay bills,” and only admitted to having a gambling addiction after police gathered evidence on the large amounts she had frittered away at Pittwater RSL.
“My client still has trouble accepting that it could have been that much that she took”
Mr Murphy said Barry could pay back $50,000 immediately.
“My client still has trouble accepting that it could have been that much that she took.”
He said a psychological assessment of Barry’s gambling problem placed her in the highest range.
“It does not excuse the conduct but it does explain it.”
Ms Viney described as “nonsense” Barry’s justification that she was only borrowing the money and planned to pay it back saying it was a symptom of a gambling addiction.
“(The theft) was always, one would suggest, going to be identified,” she said.
It seems at least this gambler is aware of her addiction - first step is always the hardest so hopefully these 9 months will give her some time to get the help she needs.
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