BMX BANDIT: Former treasurer sentenced for stealing $15k
THE former treasurer of the Bundaberg BMX club has been ordered to pay back the $15,000 she stole from the club.
Sheree Cowle was also sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for two years.
Cowle, 29, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court today to stealing the cash while she was treasurer of the club.
The court heard Cowle failed to deposit money to the club's bank account on a number of occasions.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess told the court the court Cowle was witnessed signing bank cheques, for money raised, by members of the committee.
He said Cowle provided information on the account verbally despite being asked on multiple occasions for written information.
A written account was only provided on one occasion after pressure from the president for the money to be deposited after a fundraiser where more than $7000 had been raised.
When the club's president went to the bank on September 28, 2017 to check on the account himself, he was told no money had been deposited.
A solicitor's letter was sent to Cowle asking her to disclose what happened to the money or police would be notified.
Sgt Burgess told the court committee members had made numerous attempts to contact Cowle to explain herself.
CIB officers attended Cowle's home and asked her about the incident.
The court heard Cowle told the officers that she did deposit the money and attended the bank on at least four occasions.
She told them she would place the money on the counter, tell the teller it was for the BMX club and leave without filling out deposit slips or receiving receipts.
Cowle's lawyer Rian Dwyer told the court his client had no previous history.
Mr Dwyer said Cowle's children still participated in BMX however she wasn't allowed to watch them because of a condition of her bail.
He said Cowle does a lot of volunteer work at her kids' school and had been a member of the P&F for at least four years.
Mr Dwyer said he was instructed Cowle didn't have any knowledge of a solicitor's letter to her until court proceedings began.
During the hearing a reason as to why Cowle stole the money was not given.
Magistrate Terry Duroux took into account the fact Cowle had no criminal history.
Mr Duroux said the "very serious" offence carried a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
He described the act as a betrayal of trust.
Cowle was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years.
She was also ordered to pay $15,000 restitution which was referred to SPER.
A conviction was recorded.