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cash, money, generic, hand Contributed

Motive for swindling thousands keeps woman out of jail

A WOMAN has been caught swindling thousands of dollars from her workplace of six years in a bid to ease the financial burden at home.

Leigh Cook, 29, appeared before Grafton Local Court on Monday with charges of dishonestly obtaining funds.

Across three months and nearly fifty transactions, Cook took more than $6000 from the service station she worked at for six years.

Cook's solicitor submitted to the court she "felt trapped with no other option" after a relationship breakdown led to "financial pressure" on her to pay the bills.

Magistrate Karen Stafford said while the maximum penalty for the charges was 10 years in custody, Cook would "not be going to jail today".

"It makes matters worse that you breached the trust an employer puts in you to handle money independently," she said.

Ms Stafford said the motivation was to help her daughter, "not greed as we often see".

"But there was a degree of planning involved in this.

"I accept you are genuinely sorry for what you did."

Cook was sentenced to the maximum community correction order - three years with an additional 150 hours of community service.

She must also pay back $6170.