How nurse stole $209k from footy club
AN ASSISTANT nurse spent more than three and a half years systematically siphoning off more than $209,000 from a Labrador touch football club to pay her own debts.
Jodie Lee Hennessey, 34, made more than 560 unauthorised bank transactions to take the cash from the Dodgers Touch Football Club in a "despicable" and "significant breach of trust".
The club has not been able to recover the money.
Hennessey pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court this afternoon to one count of fraud.
Judge David Kent described the offending as "enormously damaging" to the touch club.
"You were saying (to police) that once you started, you couldn't stop," he said.
"If you had a bill to be paid you would take money from club.
"Your intent was not to take money from the club but planned to pay it back."
Hennessey wiped tears from her face when Judge Kent sentenced her to four years prison to be suspended after she has served one year.
Crown prosecutor Stephanie Gallagher said the offending was "protracted" and a "significant breach of trust".
"A substantial amount of money was defrauded from a not for profit community club... that makes it particularly despicable," she said.
Ms Gallagher said the "unsophisticated" fraud started when Hennessey was acting as secretary and treasurer to the small club.
Between January 2012 and October 2015, Hennessey began transferring money form the club to her own bank account, using the club's bank cards and writing cheques to cash or herself.
She did that more than 560 times to pay for debts and everyday expenses.
The club discovered the fraud when some cheques were not honoured and they realised money was missing from their bank account.
Ms Gallagher said when Hennessey was questioned by police she was unable to say how much she had taken.
Hennessey's barrister Marcin Lazinski said Hennessey had four children and was an assistant nurse with an agency.
He said Hennessey was also a full-time carer to her elderly grandmother.
Mr Lazinski handed a number of character references to the court.
"These character references not only indicate remorse but also indicate selflessness," he said.
Mr Lazinski said she was the sole breadwinner of the family.
The offending started after her partner, who is unemployed, ran into legal troubles.