Jail for woman who stole $3K pokie winnings

Adelaide Hotel, Moruya.
Adelaide Hotel, Moruya.

A woman who stole a wallet containing $3000 in poker machine winnings from a Moruya Hotel has been jailed.

Kelly Marie Staples, 38, of Moruya, pleaded guilty to larceny during her November 20 appearance via audio-visual link at Batemans Bay Local Court.

Police said Staples stole an unattended wallet from a poker machine in the outdoor games room of Moruya’s Adelaide Hotel at about 10.20pm on August 18, 2017.

The owner of the wallet had been playing at the machine and had left his wallet behind.

CCTV footage showed Staples enter the outdoor games room before she placed the wallet in her jeans and left.

Shortly after, the owner realised his wallet was not with him and could not locate it at the poker machine.

The wallet contained about $3000 cash, won on the poker machines.

Staples was arrested on a warrant on October 11 in Moruya.

Defence solicitor Wayne Boom told the court Staples was “extremely intoxicated” at the time of the “opportunity-type offence”.

“The money was left in a place that was open … she did not resist to take it and walk away,” he said.

Mr Boom said Staples regretted her actions.

“She realises it was wrong,” he said.

“She seeks to get out of jail as soon as she can.”

Magistrate Doug Dick labelled the offence “despicable”.

“It’s the type of offence the community would regard as despicable,” Mr Dick said.

The court heard Staples had a criminal record in the state of Queensland, which included arson offences.

Staples was jailed for nine months, with a parole period of three months. She was ordered to pay $3000 in compensation to the victim.