Former cafe owner sentenced for pocketing RSPCA donations
A FORMER Darwin cafe owner stole the profits made from an RSPCA fundraising event because she was struggling to keep her business afloat, a court has heard.
Kristie Foreman, 36, appeared in Darwin Local Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to one count of stealing $1664 made from selling cupcakes at her cafe in 2016 as a part of the annual RSPCA Cupcake Day fundraiser.
The court heard Foreman, who was the managing director of QBar Darwin from 2013 until it went into liquidation in 2018, failed to transfer the money raised to the RSPCA but instead transferred it from one company account to another.
After Foreman stopped responding to emails from the RSPCA requesting she transfer the money, a complaint was lodged with police.
Police then issued a search warrant of the Darwin Commonwealth Bank to obtain all of her relevant bank statements that revealed she had kept the funds.
Foreman then attended a police station and admitted to the offending.
Foreman's lawyer Peter Maley said his client, who has since declared bankruptcy, was in "significant financial strife" at the time of the offending.
"She was going through a very ugly separation, she was very stressed," Mr Maley said.
"It was truly a situation where she was caught up in financial circumstances beyond her control."
Mr Maley said that Foreman eventually repaid the total amount of money to the RSPCA.
Judge Greg Smith described the offence as "a most unusual example of a stealing charge".
"It's comparable to where someone takes from their employer, it's a breach of trust," Mr Smith said.
"Some, like me, may not have had the slightest interest in cupcakes but bought them because they were told the money was going to the RSPCA."
Foreman was given a 12- month good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $750 in fines and victims' levies.
No conviction was recorded.