A former NRL WAG turned reality TV star and competitive boxer will wait to learn her fate after admitting to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her former employer.
Arabella Del Busso did not appear before Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to stealing $35,785 from Rheumatology Specialist Care at Kogarah.
The former girlfriend of NRL star Josh Reynolds was working as a receptionist at the time of the thefts and also stole $16,565 from the company’s Randwick business.
The 33-year-old was due to be sentenced on Tuesday but was unable to appear due to “anxiety from a recent event”, her lawyer said.
“My client indicates to me she does want to resolve it, she does want to finalise it,” lawyer Andrew Stewart said, adding Del Busso had been suffering panic attacks.
The court was told Del Busso provided a medical certificate from her home in Melbourne dated February 6, only a month after an earlier medical absence.
Magistrate Hugh Donnelly said Del Busso had appeared in person for only one of her 14 court appearances and the delay was of “some concern” to the court.
“I appreciate on the last occasion there was a medical certificate which said she had some gastro issues,” he said.
“Now, I have another that says she has severe anxiety due to recent events which were traumatic.”
He later added: “I think this case needs some close attention. There have been some Covid delays.
“It first came into the court on June 26, 2021 … there were some issues with Victoria being in lockdown.
“Now, much of the delay has been attributed to Ms Del Busso’s non-attendance.”
Mr Donnelly said the certificate did not clear what the issues were and whether they might be resolved before a future sentencing date.
He also noted that while the medical certificate made it clear Del Busso was unable to fly, it was uncertain if she could either drive or take the bus.
While the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecution did not oppose an adjournment, it did note the matter had been before the court since mid-2021.
“She has pled guilty for a period of time and has not made her way to the court … There is no timeframe for when she could get on a plane, train, bus,” it said.
The matter was relisted before the court on February 12 when it’s expected Del Busso will either be sentenced or a sentencing date will be fixed.
Documents tendered to court reveal Del Busso told clients during her seven-month stint with the east Sydney medical centre that the eftpos machine was not working.
Instead, the lingerie model asked clients to pay in cash despite the eftpos being used for other customers. In total, she deposited $18,215 into her personal accounts.
Del Busso rose to prominence during her rocky relationship with Reynolds that fell apart when it was revealed she had faked a pregnancy.
The 33-year-old admitted to the fake pregnancy when she appeared on the reality show SAS Australia only months after she was fired from Rheumatology Specialist Care.
She has since gone on to pursue careers as a lingerie model and celebrity boxer, concussion from which delayed her last court appearance in October.
Del Busso was previously convicted in her absence of the theft charges but successfully applied to have it overturned. She then pleaded guilty prior to a hearing last year.