Man on trial over obtaining $98,000

THE trial to decide if Whitsunday man Andrew Stewart dishonestly obtained money, with a total yield of $98,224, will continue at Bowen District Court today.

Stewart founded the charity Kidscan Ltd to host children with terminal and life threatening illnesses and their families for a holiday in the Whitsundays.

The house that Stewart was to host the families was at 3 Jones Road in Cannonvale but it is alleged that the Kidscan Ltd Founding Principal did not use the funds raised to carry out the purpose of the charity.

In the trial, which started on Monday and is expected to finish early next week, the court will hear testimony from about 50 witnesses.

The witnesses include many Whitsunday residents who dealt with Mr Stewart between March 2004 and February 2008, the period during which the crime allegedly took place.

The court heard that during this time, there were several events held to help raise funds for Kidscan including two bowls days hosted by the Proserpine and Cannonvale branches of the ANZ Bank.

Retail Manager Linda Mahood told the court that she had been approached by Mr Stewart to sit on a committee that was to organise an attempt at a diving record to help to raise funds for Kidscan.

The event, which was to be called the Bloody Big Dive never went ahead and Ms Mahood said that she thought the reason for this was that organisation was poor.

As well as the planned events that were held in aid of Kidscan, the court was told that charity tins were used to collect money from individual donors.

The court heard that Stewart, who leased and lived in the house that was to host children and their families, used funds raised to pay rent.

The court was also told that during the period that funds were being raised for Kidscan, backpackers were being housed in the Jones Street residence and were paying rent to do so.

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