RSL thief appeals jail sentence

A WOMAN who was jailed for fleecing more than $465,000 from the Charleville RSL has appealed her sentence but decided against appealing her conviction.

Prudence Illguth, 45, was found guilty in the Roma District Court in November last year, after a week-long trial, of using her position as the club's assistant manager to steal more than $465,000 from Keno, TAB and pokie revenues.

Illguth claimed she was only responsible for $100,000 of the missing money but the jury did not buy her story.

She was subsequently sentenced to five years behind bars.

Solicitor Anthony Colavitti told the Queensland Court of Appeal on Thursday an ongoing administrative issue with Gold Coast-based barrister Rod Clifford, who has been enlisted to represent Illguth and the Queensland Bar Association would mean he would be representing her at the hearing.

Mr Covavitti said there were a number of people at the club who had access to the money.

"There were 13 different people who had access to money at the club," he said.

"She made admissions at trial to stealing about $100,000.

"It was her husband who suggested she pay $200,000 restitution which equated to about half of what went missing.

"In consideration of her age, lack of criminal history, being a first offender and her medical condition we submit the sentence was manifestly excessive.

"Especially given there was no parole release date fixed."

Crown Prosecutor Ben Power said he would rely on his written submissions tendered earlier to the court which stated Illguth would be eligible to apply for parole once she completed 50% of her sentence as is standard under Queensland law.

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.


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