A South Australian woman who stole more than $250,000 from a not-for-profit wine organisation to fund her luxury lifestyle has signed a deed, promising to repay the cash.
Sharon Tracey Nitschke appeared in the District Court on Wednesday with Judge Rauf Soulio told the mother of three had already repaid a significant amount, including the proceeds from selling her home.
Her agreement with the Riverland Vine Improvement Committee has cast doubt on her serving an immediate custodial sentence with the committee asked to provide its views about continued restitution.
Judge Soulio has also ordered a report to determine if the 53-year-old is suitable for home detention.
Nitschke earlier pleaded guilty to stealing $251,350 between 2014 and 2017 while employed by the committee.
In sentencing submissions in April, the court heard she spent the money on luxury items, including holidays with her offending described as a "prolonged, brazen and a breach of trust".
Prosecutors have asked that she be jailed immediately, arguing a custodial sentence is the only appropriate penalty.
But Judge Soulio noted on Wednesday Nitschke had demonstrated contrition and clearly been raised in traumatic and dysfunctional circumstances.
He will sentence her in August.
The Riverland Vine Improvement Committee aims to generate interest in different grape varieties across the SA Riverland, as well as supply improved vine material to meet growing trends in the industry.
Australian Associated Press