Full payment of reparation totalling almost $10,000 has headed off a jail term for a 35-year-old solo mother-of-two who stole from two employers.
Karen Marie Humm had paid more than $7000 back to a building firm she worked for last year and arrived at the Christchurch District Court for her sentencing with the remaining money available for the other victim who had lost about $2700.
She had pleaded guilty to 16 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and dishonestly accessing a computer system.
Defence counsel Sabrina Forrester said Humm was a solo parent with the care of two children after the break-up of her long term relationship. The break-up had led to financial strife, and that led to poor decision-making on her part.
Judge Tony Couch said the full payment of reparation was a very significant factor in terms of his overall view of the case. “That is what is going to make the difference between imprisonment or not,” he said.
Humm had repeatedly accessed one firm’s bank account to transfer money to herself, when she worked as an office administrator. At the other firm, she had taken money she was supposed to bank.
Judge Couch said she had betrayed the trust of employers after being put in positions of responsibility. She had seriously hurt the people she betrayed.
He imposed a sentence of seven months’ home detention at a Kaiapoi address, with special conditions to apply during the sentence and for an additional six months. He ordered the reparation payment.