Carer admits to stealing from Russell Island pensioner

A 48-YEAR-OLD carer has pleaded guilty to stealing $620 from a Russell Island pensioner.

Daphne Maria Te Pania, also of Russell Island, admitted to withdrawing cash from the 83-year-old’s bank account on three occasions within 16 days.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Angela Tetley said police found $920 had been stolen, but Te Pania said she had paid back $300.

During her appearance at Cleveland Magistrates Court on Thursday, Te Pania pleaded guilty to three counts of stealing.

Magistrate Deborah Vasta said, as a carer, Te Pania was in a major position of trust.

“It was a really nasty thing to do,” she said.

Sergeant Tetley said the amount Te Pania had stolen was significant for the pensioner.

“She ripped him off and ripped him off more than his pension would have paid him in that time,” Sergeant Tetley said.

Ms Vasta sentenced Te Pania to 70 hours of community service to be completed within six months.

Te Pania had no conviction recorded.