No leniency for woman in jail for RSL fraud scandal

THE Western Queensland woman at the centre of an RSL fraud scandal has lost her bid for less jail time after claiming the club was leaking money "like a sieve".

Prudence Illguth tried to argue she only took $100,000; that others took the rest of the $467,744 shortfall from the RSL club accounts because it had poor monetary control.

She was sentenced in Roma in November last year to five years in jail after a six-day trial but fought for a reduced sentence in the Queensland Court of Appeal.

Illguth argued the sentence was manifestly excessive because she had no previous criminal history and the exact amount she stole was never proven.

The woman, aged 40 and 41 when she offended in 2009-10, used gambling and drinking to deal with stressors in her life, arguing the trial judge did not give due weight to her gambling problem.

The trial judge sentenced the Illguth on the basis she took somewhere between $200,000 and $250,000.

He based that on Illguth's admissions and on evidence that about $10,000 a month more than usual was spent on the club's Keno machines during the offending period.

Keno spending at Charleville was the third highest in the state second only to two casinos.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson said, in a judgment handed down on Friday, that the trial judge's approach was "of great advantage to the applicant" who had been unable to demonstrate any error.

"When consideration is given to comparative sentences ... the sentence imposed does not appear to be manifestly excessive," she said.

"There was no remorse or plea of guilty which could have justified an ameliorating order to be given in addition to the head sentence." - APN NEWSDESK



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