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The magistrate wasn't satisfied that the earrings were from Micheli Jewellers
The magistrate wasn't satisfied that the earrings were from Micheli Jewellers

Jeweller loses case against employee

The owner of a jewellery store has lost her case of theft against a former employee and been ordered to pay more than $10,000 in legal fees.

A magistrate in the Victorian country town of Warrnambool has dismissed charges of theft and dealing with the proceeds of crime against Selena Gore, a former employee at Micheli Jewellers. 

According to The Standard, police alleged that Gore stole a pair of 18-carat white gold diamond drop pearl earrings, which retailed for $3,700, for her own use. The charge of dealing with the proceeds of crime referred to a second pair of white gold diamond drop pearl earrings, which retailed for $1,600, and were subsequently donated to a charity auction by Gore.

Former owner of Micheli Jewellers (the store closed in 2012), Elvi Harris, said she suspected jewellery was missing from her store and notified local detectives.

The Standard also reported that detective senior constable Wayne Ryan said he made inquiries with the company that supplied Micheli Jewellers, and produced a document to the court that showed a set of 18-carat white gold diamond drop earrings had been sold to the Warrnambool jewellery store.

Gore; however, claimed that the earrings were actually purchased in 2009 while on holiday in Istanbul and therefore were part of her personal collection. She also claimed that she had purchased loose pearls from a company in Melbourne and tendered a copy of the purchase and credit card statements to the court. 

The court also heard that Gore had donated items to the same charity event in the two previous years. 

Magistrate Peter Mellas told the court that the jewellery store did have a security system in place; however, like any system, it was subject to human error. It was also noted that all staff had access to keys and therefore had the opportunity to get their hands on products. 

As such, Mellas said that he could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the diamond drop earrings were from Micheli Jewellers and therefore dismissed the charge. 

He went on to say that he was satisfied the pearl earrings were not the proceeds of crime and so dismissed the charges and ordered Harris to pay Gore’s legal costs of $10,197.

The magistrate also noted that he believed Harris was an honest witness; however, her access to records was hampered by the fact her store was no longer operating.

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Thursday, 22 August, 2019 09:05pm
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