A 30-year-old woman who took more than $20,000 from two organisations believes her offending was a deliberate attempt to sabotage her own life, her lawyer said today.
The Otago woman, who was granted final name suppression, appeared in the Gore District Court before Judge John Macdonald this afternoon for sentence after admitting 47 charges of obtaining money, groceries and gardening supplies by deception and one of stealing $979.50.
All offending occurred between February 5 last year and March 31 this year.
She was sentenced to five months' community detention and nine months' supervision.
In an earlier appearance the court was told the woman was the treasurer of a community organisation and her role was to pay the accounts using a cheque book.
Each cheque required two signatures from authorised people. On March 6 last year the woman asked the president to countersign a cheque telling her it was for payment of an account, the court was told.
She then made the cheque of $484.29 out to herself and deposited it into her bank account.
Throughout the next year she wrote 25 cheques out for her own use and all but four of the cheques had the second signature forged by the woman.The offending continued until the bank account was drained, the court was told.
The cheques totalled $18,238.87 and she had since repaid the amount in full.
The court was earlier told she was also secretary of another organisation and used one of its accounts to obtain grocery items for herself.
She also ran a fundraiser for the organisation and although she sold a large number of items she only deposited a small amount into the account.
A reconciliation of the accounts showed a shortfall of $979.50, which she failed to account for, the court was told.
In total she caused a loss of $4937.29 to the organisation. She had since repaid the amount in full.
The woman's lawyer Paul Gray this afternoon said since the offending the woman had been diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder requiring long-term treatment.
During the offending she was out of control, felt isolated and believed upon reflection this was a deliberate attempt to sabotage her own life, Mr Gray said.
She was taking steps to make amends and prevent this type of offending happening again. She had written apology letters to various individuals from the organisations.
She was mortified, embarrassed, ashamed and deeply remorseful, he said.
Judge Macdonald said her offending had "quite an impact" on the organisations.
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