Single mum's drastic stealing offence to feed her children
A ROCKHAMPTON woman's partner was in jail so she used the refund system of her workplace to steal $4738 in 12 transactions to be able to buy food for her family.
Alison Petersen, 42, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on May 17 to 12 fraud charges after she stole the money from her employer, Beaumont Tiles.
Prior to Petersen's sentencing, she had paid back $4253.
Police prosecutor Clancy Fox said Petersen had worked at Beaumont Tiles on Yaamba Rd since 2012 as a sales assistant.
The offending period was between April and November last year.
Mr Fox said Petersen would use customers receipts to do credit refunds which were then transferred into her bank account.
He said the store manager identified a refund that was not accounted for on November 30 and contacted police.
Mr Fox said police used Petersen's bank records and identified the other fraudulent transactions.
Defence lawyer Mark Platt said Petersen was a single parent of two teenage children.
"At the time of the offending, she was receiving the single parenting payment and working part-time," he said. "She was using the money for food and living expenses."
He said her partner was in jail, leaving her to care for their two children on her own.
Mr Platt said she was now working full-time and her current employer was aware of the charges.
Magistrate Cameron Press ordered Petersen to a two-year probation order and to pay the outstanding amount of $485 to Beaumont Tiles. No conviction was recorded.