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



More rain, high temps forecast for Gladstone

Brothers Charity Cricket event. Photo Christopher Chan/The Observer

Weather forecast for Gladstone region.

Emergency services held up in woman's rail line 'sieges'

Police generic

Woman's late night antics puts Gladstone rail under 'siege'

Fallen colleagues honoured at Police Remembrance Day: Photos

National Police Remembrance Day, September 29, 2016.

Two events in Gladstone for National Police Remembrance Day.

Local Partners

Tommy goes home in emotional Bachelorette episode

The Bachelorette contestant Tommy Saggus.

BRISBANE bachelor hopes show will give him more confidence.

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'