Stroud Show treasurer stole nearly $16K, court hears

File image.
File image.

THE former treasurer of the Stroud Show Association has been convicted of stealing nearly $16,000 from the coffers of the popular agricultural show.

Nicola Jones, 61, of Booral, did not immediately bank the profits from the 2017 installment of the Stroud Show and instead put the money in a safe at her home, according to an agreed statement of facts. About a week after the show, Jones let people she knew access the safe and allowed them to take large sums of cash on the basis they would later repay the funds.

In total $15,800 was taken and nearly three years later none of it has been repaid.

Jones appeared in Raymond Terrace Local Court this week and pleaded guilty to stealing property as a clerk or servant.

She was placed on a two-year community corrections order, similar to the former good behaviour bond, and told to pay $15,800 compensation to the Stroud Show Association.

Jones had held the position of treasurer at the Stroud Show Association, a not-for-profit venture, for more than 15 years at the time she misappropriated the money.

At the end of the 2017 show, Jones collected all the money taken through the gate and from bar and food, but did not immediately deposit the funds into the show association bank account.

Instead, she kept the money in a safe at her home where a week later she allowed people she knew to begin taking sums of cash on the basis that they would repay the money.

She documented the $15, 800 that was taken as an outstanding deposit and intended to repay the money. But as at August, 2018, she had not repaid the money and contacted the Stroud Show Association president to confess to misappropriating the money.

The show was to be held again in April, but was cancelled for only the eighth time in 100 years due to the coronavirus health crisis.