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Greedy thief lied about ice habit: judge

AAP logoAAP 6/09/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A bookkeeper who claimed she stole more than $330,000 to fund her ice addiction concocted the story to hide the fact she was simply acting out of greed, a judge has said in jailing the Melbourne woman.

Diana Dimitrievski, 42, did develop an ice habit, but not until 2014, the year after her boss discovered she had spent three-and-a-half years inflating the value of wage cheques at the family-run engineering company and keeping the surplus for herself.

The Moe woman was jailed for 21 months and ordered to serve a community corrections order of two years after she admitted 178 individual instances of theft.

Dimitrievski forged signatures on cheques and deleted programs from the company computer she worked on to hide her crimes.

During a pre-sentence hearing, Crown prosecutors told the Victorian County Court Dimitrievski should be jailed for the protracted theft from people who put their "total trust and confidence" in her.

One of the directors of the company - which employs six full-time workers - said Dimitrievski had participated in work functions, including Christmas parties, and accepting rides home from owners, all while betraying them.

Judge James Parrish said she had claimed to be "under the throes of ice" when she committed the crime, but she had told a psychologist she started using ice only in 2014 - the year after her employment with the company ceased.

"From your own mouth it would be impossible to be so," Judge Parrish said.

"Your offending was motivated by greed."

Dimitrievski had 0also blamed a friend for enticing her to steal from the company, telling a psychologist who gave evidence at a pre-sentence hearing her friend had suggested she steal from her employer because they were both "hanging out" for drugs and didn't have any money.

After her arrest, Dimitrievski had said she would commit suicide if she was jailed for more than six months.

Crown prosecutors said that was an attempt to "blackmail" the court.

Judge Parrish received a report that said Dimitrievski was not at risk of self-harm before imposing the jail term.

She failed to display proper remorse and her prospects for rehabilitation were guarded, he said.

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