A sneaky thief made off with punter’s poker money after he stepped away for a drink. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
A sneaky thief made off with punter’s poker money after he stepped away for a drink. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

How a sneaky thief made off with someone else’s pokie cash

A slippery thief made off with more than $250 of a punter’s gambling money after he stepped away for refreshments at popular Mackay pub.

Diane Louise Mary Conroy, 52, had been loitering in the pokies area at the Kooyong hotel when she spotted the man leaving a machine about 7.45pm on October 3 last year.

The victim had placed a reserved sign on the machine he had been playing which still had $277 in credit.

Mackay Magistrates Court heard once the man had stepped away, Conroy swooped in bringing with her a staff member to cash in the money.

Diane Louise Mary Conroy pleaded guilty to taking $277 of another person’s gambling money. Photo Paul Braven
Diane Louise Mary Conroy pleaded guilty to taking $277 of another person’s gambling money. Photo Paul Braven

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“Leaving the staff member to believe she was the user of that machine and it was her money that she was entitled to,” prosecutor Harry Coburn said.

Once she had the cash, Conroy left the venue. She was later charged with stealing, to which she pleaded guilty.

The court heard Conroy was currently on an intensive corrections order handed down in December last year for a string of offending, some of which occurred in around the same time as this offence.

Legal Aid Queensland solicitor Rosie Varley said if her client had been dealt with at the same time, this offence would have been absorbed in the intensive corrections order.

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“During and around the time of the offence she was using drugs,” Ms Varley said, adding Conroy had spent some time behind bars towards the end of 2020.

“Her time in custody was not an insignificant period and has certainly been a wake-up call.

“It is my ultimate submission … that she is taking genuine steps to turn her life around.”

The court heard she was complying with the ICO and would be assigned a community service project this week.

A 52 year old woman pleaded guilty to stealing $277 from a man playing pokies at a popular Mackay pub.
A 52 year old woman pleaded guilty to stealing $277 from a man playing pokies at a popular Mackay pub.

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Acting Magistrate John Aberdeen agreed with Ms Varley – Conroy was convicted, a conviction was recorded and she was not further punished.

She was however ordered to pay $277 restitution.



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