A CONTEST hearing into cash thefts from a Warrnambool café will continue today.
Selena Gore, 30, of Ryot Street, Warrnambool is facing theft charges and appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday.
Police alleged the thefts totalling more than $2000 occurred in August and October last year at Wyton Cellars in Warrnambool.
In a police interview which was shown to the court Ms Gore admitted to the thefts, which included staff tips.
Ms Gore’s defence counsel has argued that a conversation took place before the police interview between the police corroborator Leading Senior Constable Greg Gerasimchuk.
The defence counsel said Leading Senior Constable Gerasimchuk gave Ms Gore information about a diversion program which he would recommend to his boss and she would need to write a letter of apology and pay the money back, which the police officer said did not happen.
When asked by police prosecutor Senior Constable Kevin Mullins if he’d offered a diversion to induce or get a confession from Ms Gore, Leading Senior Constable Gerasimchuk said “absolutely not”.
He said he did not coerce her or try to “butter her up”.
He said he had made it his practice to only have conversations when the interview was being recorded.
Café owner Stephen Hickman said a CCTV camera was installed at the premises and viewed as a result of a theft on October 26.
Mr Hickman said that on the footage he watched Ms Gore steal money from the till and a plastic bag filled with staff tips.
He said that on the Sunday morning he and his partner confronted Ms Gore on her way to work at the café.
He said he told her she would not be working because she was the thief, which she denied.
Mr Hickman said he asked Ms Gore to go to the back of the building to discuss the matter and he disclosed they had CCTV footage of the theft.
He said it was only when he explained to her the physical actions of the theft that she admitted taking it.
Mr Hickman said he gave Ms Gore two choices: to pay back the money and they would let it go, or he would report it to the police.
He said about $2400 needed to be repaid. Mr Hickman said that after a series of text messages throughout the day Ms Gore said she would pay back $210, which he flatly refused.
Ms Gore’s defence counsel put it to Mr Hickman that on the Friday of the alleged thefts, Ms Gore had indicated she wanted to resign, which Mr Hickman agreed with.
Mr Hickman said he offered for Ms Gore to pay the money back because he and his partner were quite disheartened that someone they considered to be a close friend would steal from them.
The contest hearing will continue today.