Former HSU boss Kathy Jackson confronted outside court

Kathy Jackson rolls her eyes as she is yelled at outside Melbourne Magistrates Court.   Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Kathy Jackson rolls her eyes as she is yelled at outside Melbourne Magistrates Court. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

The sister of a man who died at the northern Illawarra home of former Health Services Union secretary Kathy Jackson has demanded she return his belongings, including his Bible.

Ms Jackson appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday after she was last month charged with 70 offences - 52 counts of obtaining property by deception and 18 of theft.

Outside the hearing, the former union powerbroker was confronted by the sister of Sean Fisher, who died this year in the home Ms Jackson and partner Michael Lawler share in Wombarra.

Jacqueline Fisher was seen outside court confronting Kathay Jackson.   Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Jacqueline Fisher was seen outside court confronting Kathay Jackson. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Sister Jacqueline Fisher later told media Ms Jackson still had a mobile phone, laptop and Bible that belonged to her brother.

Mr Fisher and Ms Jackson met as patients at a NSW mental-health hospital and became friends, and he later regularly stayed at Ms Jackson's home. His death was not treated as suspicious.

Ms Fisher said Ms Jackson had refused to return her brother's belongings.

Kathy Jackson (in blue) arrives at Melbourne Magistrates Court. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Kathy Jackson (in blue) arrives at Melbourne Magistrates Court. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

"He passed away in your house, but you still haven't passed over his personal property… it's very distressing for the family," Ms Fisher said, according to Channel Nine.

Jacqueline Fisher told Channel Nine she had continually asked Ms Jackson for her brother's property to be returned.

"I asked for the return of his stuff, and if not, why won't she give it back," Ms Fisher said.

"My brother was religious and read his Bible every day. I want it back to give to my children."

Ms Jackson is alleged to have misappropriated more than $430,000 from the troubled HSU, spending the money on flights, hotel rooms and shopping sprees, according to court documents.

In charge sheets released by the court, police accuse Ms Jackson of stealing $284,500 from the HSU, including the alleged thefts of $80,000 in February, 2004 and $50,000 in March, 2009.

The charge sheets also allege she defrauded the union of a further $149,759.82 by using union funds to pay her credit card bills, which included flights, hotel rooms in New York, California, Las Vegas, Seattle and Hong Kong, and shopping trips for furniture in Richmond, exercise equipment in Preston and at JB Hi-Fi.

The deception charges also include an allegation that in July, 2008 Ms Jackson falsely represented that union management authorised a $22,000 payment to a former HSU worker who conducted legal research, and that in June, 2010 she allegedly swindled the union of $63,000 by claiming it as an entitlement for the preceding three years.

Defence counsel Philip Beazley asked the court for extra time to read the brief of evidence against Ms Jackson, given it comprised about 5000 pages and there "is an awful lot to digest". Magistrate Elizabeth Lambden said she was "anxious" about delaying the case, but granted extra time. Ms Jackson is due to return to court on January 24.

Under her bail conditions, she can live at her Wombarra home, but must not contact prosecution witnesses or attend points of international departure with the intent of leaving the country.

The court heard she had given her passport to her trustee, but occasionally visited the airport to pick up her children.

In August last year, Ms Jackson was ordered to pay $1.4 million in civil damages after she was found to have stolen money from the HSU. Federal Court judge Richard Tracey found Ms Jackson had misused her position as head of the union to fraudulently gain financial advantage, including a $250,000 financial settlement with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

smh.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop