Melissa Jade Higgins can get "ready for sentence" at home, says judge

Daycare rorter Melissa Jade Higgins will remain free until she is sentenced next year over her $3.6 million fraud on the federal government.

Higgins has been found guilty of a $3.6 million child care benefits rort despite consistently claiming she had done nothing wrong.

She had pleaded not guilty and faced a trial by jury, which handed down its guilty finding on Wednesday on 66 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

At a bail hearing at Sydney’s Downing Centre on Friday morning, Higgins’ defence barrister Luke Brasch, argued that she had strong family ties.

He told the court she would be preparing for her sentence and inevitable imprisonment, and argued that she could start to see a psychologist.

The Crown argued that there was a risk she would not turn up at her sentencing and could attempt to flee, given her prior dishonesty and the likelihood of a lengthy jail term.

But Judge Donna Woodburne rejected the Crown argument and granted bail with strict conditions, including residing with her sister is Sydney and daily reporting to police.

Higgins will be sentenced on March 24 next year.

More details to come.

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