A FORMER manager of a Rockhampton Australia Post branch used her termination payout to replace more than $16,000 she had stolen from the company, a court has heard.
Kerrie Lyn Bickle pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court last week to one charge of theft.
The 54-year-old had been employed at Australia Post since 1989, eventually being promoted to postal manager in 2007.
The court heard between November, 2011 and January last year Bickle fudged the figures at the store's cash terminals to allow herself to pay off a number of personal bills without actually placing any money in the tills.
The fraud amounted to $16,356.96.
She was caught out when an auditor noticed the irregularities and an unannounced cash count was completed at the store on January 3 last year.
The court heard she was let go and used her payout from the company to pay back the entire amount.
Defence solicitor Grant Cagney told the court Bickle was under financial stress at the time as her husband was unable to work.
He said she was extremely remorseful for her actions.
The court heard she had no criminal history.
Magistrate Barry Cosgrove took this into consideration, but said she had taken advantage of her position of trust.
"People in that position need to understand they can't abuse that trust," he said.
He sentenced Bickle to 12 months jail, but released her forthwith. He ordered she pay a good behaviour bond of $5000.