Carer stole from disabled woman
A Palmerston North woman had a job caring for a severely disabled person, but abused that position to steal from her.
Ruselina Jenerah Hickmott worked for a home care company, and her job was to care for a quadriplegic woman.
She had to get her out of bed, help bathe her and get her to the toilet.
She was in a position of trust with the woman, but on September 27 she abused that position.
Hickmott stole a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
The phone, worth $800, had $60 credit on it.
A friend of the disabled woman began to suspect Hickmott had stolen it and a search of her bag confirmed those suspicions.
Hickmott pleaded guilty in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday to one charge of theft.
The 19-year-old's defence lawyer Tony Thackery said it was out of character for Hickmott, who had no previous criminal convictions.
She had since found another job and was working 60 hours a week, he said.
Judge Gerard Lynch said the offence was serious.
"The carer has an absolute duty to be honest with such a vulnerable person."
He sentenced Hickmott to 40 hours' community work.