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Evidence mounts against Craig Thomson

Craig Thomson outside Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

Craig Thomson outside Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

The former Health Services Union (HSU) national secretary has pleaded not guilty to 145 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception over the alleged misuse of more than $28,000 between 2002 and 2008.

But witness statements tendered to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court claim Mr Thomson, who later became a Federal MP, spent union funds to pay for R-rated films, sex workers and travel for his then-wife Christa.

Brothel managers, prostitutes and hotel managers were among those who gave more than 30 statements to police.

Nelson Da Silva, ex-director of Tiffany’s Girls escort service in Sydney, said Mr Thomson would have visited on a Saturday night in June 2005. He confirmed that his records matched a $418 transaction on Mr Thomson’s HSU credit card.

“It stated the time frame for the booking was 1.5 hours with $190 for the room rental,” he said. “The room was RT which was a Red Turbo Spa Room – this room was one of our expensive rooms”

Diane Barker, owner of CBD Escorts and Blonde Bombshells in Sydney, said a booking was made for a hotel room where Mr Thomson was staying in October 2003. Her records showed he would have paid $240 in cash to hire “Tracie” for one hour.

In-house movie suppliers revealed porn billed to hotel rooms where Mr Thomson was staying included titles such as Women in Uniform, Sweetheart Trilogy, Perfect Pink and Sex Gallery.

Meanwhile, a handwriting expert told the court there was “very strong” evidence that signatures on receipts issued by brothels matched Mr Thomson’s handwriting.

Kathy Jackson, the current HSU national secretary who blew the whistle on Mr Thomson’s alleged offences, described how the union had been like “a cult” and a “boys’ club”.

Mr Thomson’s ex-wife Christa told police she never suspected he was using HSU funds to pay for personal expenses.

The hearing is scheduled to continue next week.

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