A former Darwin resident has been sentenced to two years in prison after defrauding her former employers, Jakes Steel and Welding, for nearly $90,000 over a four-year period.
Kristy Gall was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended after three months
She pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining benefit by deception in April
She has been ordered to pay $84,753 restitution by October 2025
Kristy Gall pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining benefit by deception in April, and was today sentenced in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.
The first count relates to 201 unauthorised transactions she made using a company credit card, while the second relates to Gall paying herself recreational leave she wasn’t entitled to, for a combined total of $88,273 and two cents.
Gall’s prison sentence was backdated to July 14 and will be suspended after three months.
She was also ordered to pay restitution of $84,753 within three years of her release from prison.
Emotional toll ‘devastating’ for victims
Justice Jenny Blokland said the objective seriousness of Gall’s offending was around the middle range, partly because of the amount of money involved.
“It is not as high as many cases seen in this court, but certainly not at the lower end,” she said.
But she said it was also a breach of trust, and that the impact on “essentially a family business” was significant.
“As they [the business owners] say in the victim impact statement … the emotional toll of being betrayed by someone they considered family … had a physical impact on them.”
“They do not know if they will ever be able to trust anyone again.”
Justice Blokland said the length of Gall’s offending, over four years between 2014 and 2018, was also relevant to the seriousness.
Impact on family considered in sentencing
Justice Blokland said Gall was eligible for a 25 per cent reduction in her sentence due to her early guilty plea, which was of “substantial benefit to the administration of justice” by avoiding a trial, but that she could be given no further leniency.
“Because you did not assist police at the time … although this trial would have taken some time to complete, the transactions were readily attributable to you, and the case could have easily been proven,” she said.
“I have noted your demeanour in court, which has appeared to be sorrowful.
Previously the court heard one of Gall’s daughters was heavily dependent on her mother because of a medical condition.
Justice Blokland said it was important to consider the added suffering on her child when sentencing Gall.
Gall’s sentence includes a 17-month operational period once she’s released from prison, when she must not commit another offence punishable by imprisonment.
If she fails to complete the restitution order she must appear before the court in October 2025, to show cause why she shouldn’t be imprisoned.