A socialite who never paid for more than $26,000 in luxury hotel stays, products and services is set to be jailed for what a magistrate labelled a ‘shocking’ spate of crimes.
Annabel Walker, 32, fought back tears as she fronted Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday over a spate of fraud charges at business between Sydney and Brisbane.
Walker, from Bowral in the New South Wales southern highlands, pleaded guilty to a raft of charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception off businesses up and down the east coast in 2018 and 2019.
The glamorous blonde fought back tears as Magistrate Susan McIntyre explained she would be jailed for her crimes – with the only thing left to decide if Walker receives a full-time prison term, or a suspended sentence.
Magistrate McIntyre did not miss in a scathing assessment of Walker, describing her as having a ‘disturbing history of dishonesty’.
‘Given her shocking record, two breaches of a CCO (community corrections order) and how many drive while disqualified’s (she’s had) in the last ten years… imprisonment or an alternative is a real prospect,’ Magistrate McIntyre said.
‘Actually, that is what’s going to happen, it is just how that imprisonment is served.’
The court heard that Walker obtained a total of $17, 981 from her former employer in Australian Leisure Group.
There was also $2,030 for a printing job, $3,361.60 for lighting and $2,816 for a sign to be painted.
Walker had also stayed at the lavish Rae’s on Wategos resort in Byron Bay and bought products from a Harvey Norman store, none of which she paid for.
Walker was due to be sentenced on Wednesday but issues with court documents led to a further delay in the matter.
In a shocking twist to the case late in the day, Police Prosecutor Craig Smith applied for Walker to be put behind bars immediately.
Mr Smith claimed Walker breached her bail by providing police with a ‘fake letter’ of admittance to Southern Highlands Hospital, where she was required to be treated.
‘She (Walker) was given bail conditions to report to Southern Highlands Hospital, but she has emailed police with a fake admission letter to Southern highlands Hospital,’ Mr Smith said.
‘The police have been attempting to locate Ms Walker with a view to an arrest and detention application.
‘My instructions are they (police) have confirmed with the hospital that she hasn’t been admitted to the hospital since 2018.’
Walker’s solicitor Michael Moussa said his client insisted she had attended the hospital but that they had been unable to gain access to her records to prove it.
‘My instructions are she has been going and she has in my presence tried to contact the hospital,’ Mr Moussa said.
‘She has been unable to get these records from the hospital, I’m not sure how police have been able to get them so quickly.’
Without a copy of the letter in front of her, Magistrate McIntyre refused to act and dismissed the detention application saying it was a matter ‘for police’.
Walker sat quietly in court clutching a tissue tightly in her hand throughout the day.
When she was finally called to give evidence in relation to her bail conditions Walker fought back years as she told how she’d lost her job and moved away from Sydney’s eastern suburbs after being charged.
‘When I was charged I lived in Darlinghurst, but after I moved down to the Southern Highlands to be close to my family,’ Walker said.
‘I recently lost my lease and property after an article in the local paper about me.’
Outside court Mr Moussa told Daily Mail Australia that Walker was now ready to ‘get on with her life’.
‘She’s had a very hard time and she’s learned from her experience and she now just wants to get on with her life,’ he said.
‘The last year has been very difficult and she has sought the appropriate assistance that she needs and now she’s good as gold.’
Magistrate McIntyre pushed Walker’s sentencing back to September 8, allowing Mr Smith more time to clarify the agreed facts of the matter.
Walker’s defence team indicated they intend to organise a psychiatric assessment of her.
In addition to the fraud charges, Walker will also be re-sentenced over a number of driving offences.
The court heard she had previously pleaded guilty to low-range drink driving and a count of driving while disqualified.
She was on a good behaviour bond in relation to both matters at the time she again offended, and as such will need to be re-sentenced.
Walker’s matter is due to return to Downing Centre Local Court on September 8.