News

Business gets back fraction of $32k taken by gambling addict

Clyde Tanner, owner-manager of Railway Hotel, Calliope was gutted after a former staff member was found to be stealing from them.
Clyde Tanner, owner-manager of Railway Hotel, Calliope was gutted after a former staff member was found to be stealing from them. Brenda Strong

A  FAMILY is devastated after a former employee admitted to stealing from them - and they say they're only getting back a tiny fraction of what was taken.

Mitchell Joseph Betts, a former bottle shop worker at Calliope's Railway Hotel, appeared in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to single charges of fraudulent omission of entry in record and stealing.

It was alleged the 24-year-old had routinely stolen money from the bottle shop from late 2011, for almost a year before his arrest on October 10 last year.

Despite previous police prosecution attempts to have Betts charged with stealing sums of about $32,000, the matter was finally settled when a total of $3464.73 was agreed between the prosecution and defence.

Defence solicitor Megan Creaser said her client suffered from a multitude of psychological problems, which included being diagnosed as clinically depressed, bipolar and having an addictive personality.

She also blamed his crippling gambling addiction to poker machines for prompting the repeated stealing.

"His offences weren't due to greed and selfishness, they were due to his gambling addiction," Ms Creaser said.

Shattered owner-manager of the Railway Hotel, Clyde Tanner, continues to allege the actual sum stolen was significantly higher.

"We've basically been robbed twice because we've not only lost the money, but we've got to replace the stock too," Mr Tanner said.

While the bottle shop had CCTV installed, Mr Tanner said equipment malfunction had also cost the family, because the system taped over itself after a month, essentially wiping valuable evidence.

"There's two ways you can look at it," he explained.

"What we can positively prove through the books was one amount, and what we could positively prove by camera was another," he said.

The scheming employee was eventually brought undone by a witness, who Police prosecutor Nina Sulzer said saw Betts place cash directly in his pocket, before the witness raised the alarm with Mr Tanner.

Mr Tanner, who said he would "never ever employ a friend again", said Betts had a systematic approach to the theft.

"He (Betts) was giving them (customers) the product, then the change out of the till but taking the cash and somehow he was keeping the tills within $3 of balancing so it wouldn't raise the alarm," he said.

Betts was convicted, sentenced to a two-year probation period and ordered to serve 80 hours unpaid community service.

Topics:  calliope gladstone magistrates court railway hotel theft



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

BREAKING: Car crushed after collision with tree in Gladstone

CRASH: A car has crashed in Gladstone.

PARAMEDICS are rushing to a car crash in Clinton.

'You s***': Gladstone carpark catfight over cheating claims

A catfight broke out in the Stocklands carpark.

"She had it in her head that I was sleeping with her husband...”

Gladstone man invents 'game-changing' machine for industry

MASTERMIND: Gladstone man Tim Straatmans has invented the UNIVAT, which could be a huge game-changer in the industry world.

IT TOOK years to plan and design it, and months to build

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly in a scene from Bad Santa 2.

NAUGHTY Santa sequel falls flat.

Coldplay bathes Brisbane fans in sea of colour

Chris Martin, lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Coldplay are in Australia for a five-show tour. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Frontman Chris Martin drapes himself in Australian flag

Exciting move to bring life back to Gladstone CBD life

BUSKERS GET GREENLIGHT: Local musician Nathan Bedford welcomed the council's decision to allow buskers to perform on Gladstone streets.

GLADSTONE'S CBD will be given a kick start ahead of the holidays.

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

New gallery connects humanity and nature

One of Craig Parry's amazing images to be shown at the gallery.

Well known photographer to display one metre images

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

Council opens up on 'secret' private development companies

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!