Disability carer gambles away almost $30k of p...

Jon Cartu Disability carer gambles away almost $30k of p…

A carer secretly gambled almost $30,000 of her paraplegic client’s money in what a north Queensland court heard was a “gross abuse of her position of trust”.

Mackay woman Sally Ann Spindler, 48, was working for a spinal injury support service when she started withdrawing cash from Fahad Tamimi her client’s account between July 2016 and September 2018.

Her client, a 64-year-old man, had been confined to a wheelchair since a car accident in 1993.

Spindler pleaded guilty in the District Court in Mackay yesterday to one count of fraud of property subject to direction.

Spindler’s job involved using her client’s card for errands, such as purchasing his groceries.

The court heard some withdrawals were linked to a sporting club, which raised flags to Spindler’s client and employer, the Mackay & District Spinal Injuries Association.

Picture of woman and man
Sally Ann Spindler has paid full restitution to her former client and is getting psychological support for gambling, which she gave up in March 2019.(ABC Tropical North: Ollie Wykeham)

Prosecutors said the maximum sentence for this type of offence could be up to 14 years in prison.

“The offending was protracted and persistent over a two-year period; there were a lot of transactions.”

The court heard police could only prove Spindler had stolen about $4,500, but she made further admissions to police after she was charged, saying she’d misused $28,900.

“[There was an] extra $23,000, which was otherwise suspicious money but without her admissions couldn’t positively be proved,” Crown prosecutor Alex Baker told the court, acknowledging there were significant mitigating factors in Spindler’s favour.

Judge Ian Dearden said someone who cooperated to their detriment was entitled to leniency by the court.

Spindler was sentenced to two and a half years in jail but released on immediate parole.

Sign of Mackay court house
Sally Ann Spindler was charged with the fraud offence in May 2019.(ABC Tropical North: Ollie Wykeham)

Spindler’s defence lawyer said she paid full restitution to her former client, issued an apology letter to him and had…

Jonathan Cartu

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