Woman guilty of $36,000 eye institute theft

A WOMAN who stole about $36,000 from the Launceston Eye Institute to pay off her credit card debt has appeared in the Launceston Supreme Court. 

Allison May Howe, 27, of Prospect, pleaded guilty to dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.

Crown prosecutor Peter Sherriff told the court that from February 4, 2010, to June 16, 2011, Howe pocketed 168 cash transactions, which she then deposited in her bank account.

The court heard that Howe would balance accounts by altering or adding fictitious entries.

Defence lawyer John Pedder said that Howe had worked at the surgery for a long time and was in a position of trust when she began to steal the money.

He said Howe was having difficulty paying the mortgage on her new home after her partner lost his job and she became the primary breaddhwinner. The court heard that the loan repayments were ``eating up most of her salary'' and that she began to use her credit card to make the repayments.

Howe was bailed to reappear for sentence by Justice Shan Tennent today.