A woman who stole more than $30,000 from discount store Shiploads avoided an actual jail sentence after pleading guilty in the Supreme Court in Launceston.
Sarah Charlotte Gray, 25, now of Melbourne, pleaded guilty to 159 counts of dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.
Crown prosecutor John Ransom told the court that Gray was a full time assistant captain at Shiploads store in Kings Meadows.
Her responsibilities included providing refunds for amounts more than $50 and counting the daily takings.
Between May 2017 and September 2018 she used her authority and personal code to make 133 false cash refunds amounting to $24,049.51.
Between December 2017 and September 2018 she made 26 false refunds using an EFTPOs machine to put $6,029.21 credit in her visa account.
Mr Ransom said the discrepancies came to the attention of Shiploads managing director Ashley Wilson.
"She quickly made admissions to the business owners saying that she was in so much debt and did it once and couldn't stop," he said.
She told Tasmania Police that her first dishonesty was to pay a taxi fare.
"When she saw how easy it was to do she did it with more frequency and for larger amounts," Mr Ransom said.
She placed the money in an account for a car and moved to Melbourne, but could not get a job for three months.
Mr Ransom said the video interview with police revealed quite clearly genuine remorse.
He said general deterrence needed to be a sentencing factor in cases of breach of trust.
Defence counsel Geoff Maguire said it was not very sophisticated offending and Gary had done little to cover her tracks.
He said Gray had been diagnosed with an anxiety and depression disorder.
"There is a nexus between her offending and her condition which reduces moral culpability," Mr Maguire said.
"Do you mean that taking money made her feel better," Justice Robert Pearce asked.
Mr Maguire said that the offending had some therapeutic effect and helped subdue her anxiety about personal debt.
He said that a report on Gray revealed that people with her condition often acted in a self destructive manner using impulsive temporary solutions.
"This what was happening during this period of offending," he said.
"She is of otherwise good character and has demonstrated remorse.
Justice Pearce said that Gray had lived beyond her means when she moved to Melbourne.
He sentenced her to seven months jail wholly suspended for 18 months on the condition that sh commit no offences.
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