CCTV catches crooked boss

A DUTY manager at a Hungry Jack's restaurant stole almost $2200 from her employer by pocketing a portion of the day's takings.

Krystele Skye Coughlin, 26, was caught on CCTV footage taking the money before putting the remainder into a drop safe.

She stole $2185 on three occasions between December 11 and 17 last year by "brazenly placing the money into her handbag".

Her boss discovered the theft, questioned her about it, and even gave her the chance to pay it back.

But Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Coughlin didn't pay it back, and still hadn't at the time of sentencing on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said a major aggravating feature of the offence was Coughlin breaching her position of trust.

"She was the duty manager of her shift - she was the boss - when one holds a position like that the breach of trust is more significant," Sgt Caldwell said.

Defence lawyer Justin Thomas said his client, a mother of four, was going through a tough separation at the time of the offence and had stolen the money to make ends meet.

Mr Thomas said Coughlin had since moved in with her mother at Narangba for support.

"She made no attempts to conceal (what she took) - it was very unsophisticated and she was clearly going to be detected," Mr Thomas said.

"She was driven by extreme financial need."

Coughlin pleaded guilty to three counts of stealing as a clerk or servant.

Coughlin was sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service over the next 12 months.

She was also fined $250 and ordered to pay $2185 restitution to Hungry Jack's.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said the offences were serious given the amount of money stolen and the extreme breach of trust.

Mr Stjernqvist accepted the theft wasn't overly calculated or premeditated, and chose not to record a conviction.



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