Former mayor's daughter fronts civil court over $15k debt
A BALLINA woman on a suspended jail sentence for fraud has fronted Ballina Local Court in a civil dispute over $15,000 worth of electricity bills to a luxury Ballina motel.
Belinda Catherine Nott, 39, was required to present herself in court today so a lawyer representing the electricity retailer could examine her means of paying the debt.
The court has been told Ms Nott had entered into an agreement with Melbourne-based electricity retailer Momentum Energy in August 2015 for the supply of electricity to the Ballina Manor Boutique Hotel at 25 Norton St Ballina.
Momentum supplied electricity to the address from August 2015 until September 2016.
During that period it issued Nott with tax invoices totalling $13864.32, none of which Momentum claims were paid.
Momentum subsequently launched civil action in the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court in May last year over the alleged debt.
It claimed Ms Nott had been "unjustly enriched to the detriment of (itself) the Plaintiff" to the value of $13864.32.
After Ms Nott failed to respond to the claim a default judgement was handed down on July 19 last year which ordered her to pay $15,351.94.
She has since incurred a further $1040 in court and legal costs, according to information in court papers, after failing to settle the debt.
Ms Nott was also a no-show for a previous examination scheduled on December 13, and the Ballina Local Court sent her a "warrant to issue" arrest warning.
Today's examination was held and concluded.
Ms Nott was required to prove that she had the means to settle the debt, presenting documents such as tax returns and insurance invoices to Momentum's legal representative.
The parties now can now settle the matter out of court at their own discretion.
Ms Nott refused to comment outside court.
Ms Nott is a former Lismore City Council election candidate and the daughter of former Lismore mayor Jeff Champion.
In November she was given a 15 month suspended jail sentence for one count of obtaining financial advantage by deception after she had gone to elaborate lengths to avoid settling a $5720 bill from a local business for advertising services.
The advertising had been commissioned with Lismore business Side Winder Advertising in early 2015 for two accommodation businesses which Nott managed - the Ballina Manor Motel, and Wilsons College student accommodation in Lismore.
During the course of the deception Nott had made two fraudulent bank deposit receipts to "prove" she had paid Side Winder.