21 December 2023

Ex-Gungahlin United president Aaron Alexander fails in second appeal of theft charges

| Albert McKnight

Aaron David Alexander has failed in his second attempt to appeal his theft charges. Photo: Albert McKnight.

The former Gungahlin United Football Club president who stole from his own club has failed in his second attempt to appeal his guilty verdicts.

In 2022, Aaron David Alexander was found guilty of 65 counts of theft by the ACT Magistrate Court’s Glenn Theakston.

He launched an appeal of this decision, which was partially successful when the ACT Supreme Court’s Acting Justice Peter Berman quashed 17 of his charges.

The remainder were confirmed, leaving Alexander with 48 theft convictions that related to a total of $23,500 worth of payments or transfers using his club’s money in 2017 and 2018.

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However, he appealed this decision as well.

But on Thursday (21 December), a three-panel Supreme Court dismissed this appeal, which leaves him to be sentenced in the Magistrates Court.

Alexander’s lawyers had argued that the findings of guilt on 46 of his charges were unreasonable and could not be supported by the evidence.

Also, they argued that amendments Magistrate Theakston made to the charges were not valid under the legislation.

Aaron David Alexander is the former president of the Gungahlin United Football Club. Photo: Screenshot/Facebook.

The Supreme Court’s three judges, Justices David Mossop, Belinda Baker and Wendy Abraham, said while the prosecution’s case was circumstantial, there was no suggestion it had not been a fair trial.

They said Alexander had been brought into the club because of his commercial experience, including how he had owned two companies and had been the CEO of a publicly listed company.

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Thirty-three of his charges related to electronic transfers from the club bank account into his personal account.

Out of these, 28 had no explanation recorded for the transaction. They were all rounded figures and mostly ranged from $100 to $750, totalling $11,000 over six months.

“Various explanations were postulated by the appellant, with the common theme that the transfers were reimbursement for moneys legitimately spent for club purposes,” the judges said.

They ultimately said no error had been found and Alexander had not established the grounds of his appeal. The appeal was dismissed.

He will return to the Magistrates Court in the future.

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