Former Port Kennedy Cats Junior Football Club treasurer misses out on jail after stealing $12,000

Stock image.
Stock image.

A FORMER treasurer of a junior football club, who stole more than $12,000, has narrowly missed a prison term.

Emma Marie Dixon pleaded guilty to two charges of stealing as a servant when she appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court on January 9.

The prosecutor said the offences began on November 24, 2010.

She said Dixon was employed as the treasurer for the Port Kennedy Cats Junior Football Club from 2010 to 2015 and was responsible for taking monies for registrations and other club monies and depositing them into the club’s bank account.

She said Dixon’s offending was discovered not long after the new club president, Simone Ireland added her name as a signatory on the club’s bank account.

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Shortly after that, Ms Ireland discovered that $2790 was missing from the bank account.

An audit was ordered into the account which uncovered a total of $12,998 that was missing since 2010.

It was reported to police and on August 1, 2016 Dixon was arrested.

Police said she told them she kept the money and spent it on herself.

The duty lawyer said the facts were accepted by Dixon.

He said she would take $50 at a time and no more and she had intended to pay the money back but never did.

He said it appeared to be the product of financial pressure, as she got $500 a fortnight from a part-time job.

Although her naval officer husband had a good salary of $120,000, he gave her very little money to do shopping and support their two children.

“She said he doesn’t seem to understand how expensive food and running a household is,” he said.

“Most of that money went to buy lunches for the two children.”

Dixon had not told her husband about the money or that she had been charged for the theft.

“The husband is unaware of these issues,” he said.

“She is willing to pay the money back and has made a repayment of $300, prior to mediation with them last year.

“No other money has been paid and the club has rejected any further attempts from her to pay the money back.

“She has been very embarrassed by this.”

“My submission is for a Community Based Order.”

Magistrate Leanne Atkins struggled with certain elements of Dixon’s defence.

“I find it hard to believe a naval officer would not have known how much food is today,” she said.

“You cannot claim financial difficulties with your husband’s $120,000 income.

“I find it very concerning that the club does not want the money back.

“The amount you stole is substantial.

“It was a position of responsibility and I heard that the club almost folded because of you.

“You were only detected after a new person became president and gained access to the bank account that light was shed on your offending.

“You haven’t even told your husband – you are supposed to be partners.”

She refused the lawyer’s request for a CBO and sentenced Dixon to a suspended imprisonment order.

“It cannot be less than imprisonment. You have been taking from a children’s football club,” she said.

“Seven months imprisonment, but it will be suspended for 18 months.

“I find it extremely difficult but I am not ordering you repay the money at the discretion of Club President.

“That poor club has to suffer because of your greed.”