$25,000 ‘happy hour’ in Queensland
TWO former managers of a Cape York pub have received suspended jail terms for misusing funds by helping themselves and staff to $25,000 in free drinks.
John Solomon Tomun, 54, and Patrick Pryce Gibuma, 46, who were the manager and assistant manager of the Pormpuraaw United Brothers Sports Club, pleaded guilty to fraud committed between 2013 and 2014. Crown prosecutor Gelma Meoli told the Cairns District Court that staff were allowed two free drinks after a shift, but it had become practice to party on sometimes until 2am siphoning booze from both the damaged and new stock.
Both Tomun and Gibuma would join in the drinking sessions.
"What eventuated was that at times there were up to 15 staff members after most shifts and they were consuming not just their allocated two free drinks," Ms Meoli said.
The estimated loss totalled about $25,000.
The court was told that at the time Gibuma was vice-president of the club's board and an elected Pormpuraaw Shire councillor.
Defence barrister Michael Dalton, for Tomun, said this was not calculated dishonesty or sophisticated deception, but "a startling lack of judgment that strayed into mismanagement".
"They simply didn't draw a line," barrister for Gibuma, James Sheridan, said.
Gibuma owned his own car rental business and had raised $12,500 to pay back his share of the detriment. Tomun had worked for the dole for a time developing his skill and had recently started a business.
The court was told that both men had contributed considerably to the community since their offending, demonstrating remorse and rehabilitation.
The maximum penalty for their offending is a maximum of 12 years jail.
"You can see the serious position you've both found yourself in," Judge Dean Morzone said.
"It seems that your misplaced generosity had overwhelmed your proper exercise of judgment and obligations as employees to the club."
They were both convicted and jailed for two years, but the terms were wholly suspended for three years.