Former manager found guilty of fraud, sentenced to jail

AFTER six arduous days of witness testimony and legal counsel addresses, ex-Monadelphous project manager Bruce Alfred Little's fate was decided in just one hour and four minutes.

Twelve Gladstone men and women returned a unanimous verdict on Thursday, finding Little guilty of one count of committing fraud as an employee to the value of $30,000 or more.

It was probably not the way Little had intended spending his 49th birthday, which happened to coincide with his last day of freedom for the next 14 months at least.

Crown prosecutor Melissa Wilson successfully proved the Crown case that Little had misused Monadelphous assets and employees' labour to dishonestly gain benefits, namely improvements to his Clinton, property, as well as other work done on motor vehicles.

Little was in disbelief in the dock as the verdict and his ensuing sentence were handed down to him by Judge Leanne Clare.

"The way in which you flagrantly abused that trust was breathtaking," Judge Clare noted during sentencing.

"The offending represents one period in your life when you were deliberately dishonest."

The Crown had estimated the total value of the defrauding to be in the vicinity of $52,000, which included more than $34,000 in labour costs alone.

Ms Wilson, in her submission regarding the sentence to be dealt to Little, said he had "shown no remorse" for his actions, and that "the accused took advantage of his senior position" in carrying out the misdealings.

Little had a conviction recorded against him and was sentenced to three years imprisonment, to be suspended after he serves 14 months.

The balance of the sentence (22 months) would remain suspended for an operational period of three years upon his release.

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