Mackay Court House.
Mackay Court House. Jarred Sferruzzi

Woman jailed for defrauding country school P&C

A MOTHER of three has been sentenced to three months in jail for defrauding a small country school's P&C of almost $13,000.

Judy Candida Howard, 39, of Carmila pleaded guilty in the Mackay Magistrates Court on Tuesday to several charges relating to offences that spanned several years.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer said $12,888 had been taken from the Jericho Parents and Citizens Association while Howard had been living on a cattle station in the Jericho area and working as treasurer for the P&C.

Mr Dwyer said Howard had no prior criminal history, and that she had been under pressure to "keep the fridge filled with alcohol" for her ex-husband, and that she had been in an abusive marriage.

Howard, who now works at Carmila service station, was charged with one count of dishonest causing financial detriment, one count of producing a record with intent to defraud, five counts of forging a document with intent to defraud, five counts of uttering a forged document, one count of falsely representing herself to be another person with intent to defraud, one count of dishonestly obtaining credit cards and one count of dishonestly gaining a sum of money, all between 2012 and 2015.

"You have been working with money and have not re-offended, you have told your employer about these charges," Mr Dwyer said.

"Your employer attests to your character since you have been employed. She advised that you have become a valuable member of her team and you will remain so.

"There has been no repayment of a significant amount of money to a small school P&C. There has been an offer of $900 today, but that is now some five and a half years since the commencement of the offending," he said.

Mr Dwyer sentenced Howard to be jailed for three months, then to be released under the supervision of a corrective services officer for another 12 months.