A Eurobodalla Shire woman has been sentenced to two years' jail after pleading guilty to falsely claiming bushfire charity funds.
Kelly Anne Percy was convicted in Batemans Bay Local Court on Friday, September 25, of three counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception: $300, $3,200 and $4,000.
She was also convicted of two counts of attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception, where no funds were obtained.
The court heard the 38-year-old Surf Beach resident had suffered significant childhood trauma, mental health and substance abuse issues and was in desperate need of funds.
In his judgement, Magistrate Doug Dick noted these issues but said a jail term was necessary and imposed a non-parole period of nine months.
The magistrate said the bushfires were catastrophic for the community and had destroyed homes and lives.
He said charities such as The Red Cross, Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul provided relief based on funds generously donated for those in genuine need.
Magistrate Dick said people had lost everything and thousands were evacuated.
He said Percy's dishonesty had been planned and she would have known the consequences of her actions.
In sentencing Percy, Magistrate Dick found she had committed the lowest of acts and the court had a responsibility to show such actions would not be tolerated.
He considered Percy's early guilty plea and her personal issues in reducing the non-parole period to nine months.
Charities such as The Red Cross, Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul provided relief based on funds generously donated for those in genuine needMagistrate Doug Dick