A woman who stole nearly $40,000 from her employer in order to pay for her lifestyle has narrowly avoided a stint in jail.
Magistrate Tony Murray told Janelle Louise Livermore her theft of $37,574 from Lieschke Motors in Holbrook had crossed the threshold for a prison term.
"The hard part is it's over a period of time," the magistrate said, and noted the offending was "purely for financial gain" and greed.
The 33-year-old Holbrook woman had worked as a receptionist at the business since April 2018.
Her offending was simple.
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Between January 11 last year and October 1, Livermore transfered money from the company's account straight into her own account on 12 occasions.
She was confronted by staff at the business on October 14 and immediately admitted what she had done and paid back $10,399.
The rest of the money, plus an additional few thousand dollars totalling $40,000, was transferred back to the business on October 24.
Livermore and her partner had to take out a loan to pay back the cash.
The 33-year-old was questioned by police at her home a week later and made full admissions before being charged.
Mr Murray questioned what would happen to her three children if she was imprisoned.
Her husband was in a serious car crash at Jingellic on October 5 and is unable to drive, which the court heard would make it hard to transport their children.
"The objective seriousness is towards the top of the scale," Mr Murray said when noting a prison term was needed.
"She was in a position of trust.
"(It's) a large amount of money.
"This lady on 12 separate occasions has transferred money.
"The mere fact the lady has returned the money doesn't necessarily mean the lady should not go to jail."
Lawyer Tim Hemsley said his client had shown a "very substantial degree of remorse, and also contrition".
"She does have some difficult personal situations," he said, and noted she had been assessed as a low risk of reoffending.
Two women gasped in shock in Holbrook Local Court as Livermore was given a six-month jail term.
Mr Murray said the sentence would be served as an intensive corrections order in the community, rather than in prison.
Livermore must also perform 60 hours of community work."