$90,000 taken from stolen eftpos card

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 08/08/2014

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A 29-year-old Hamilton woman is alleged to have used her elderly victim's eftpos card 279 times, clocking up nearly $90,000 over three months.

Kelly Louise Cloke appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Wednesday facing one charge of using a document between May and July this year.

She reappeared on Thursday facing a further 42 charges, but Cloke's lawyer Ted Walsh told Community Magistrate Susan Hovell that he was expecting about 70 charges in total.

After allegedly using the card on 279 different occasions, Cloke spent $87,433.10 on a new car, hotel rooms, a home-theatre system, jewellery, gambling, clothing, household items, and more.

Cloke is alleged to have lied to the victim - who is believed to be in his 80s - and told him that she was his neighbour.

She is accused of taking the man grocery shopping, noticing his pin number then stealing the card from his house at a later stage.

Walsh said his client would not seek bail until her next appearance because of the likelihood of further charges.

Hovell remanded Cloke in custody without plea to reappear on Monday.

Age Concern Hamilton chief executive Gail Gilbert was pleased to hear an arrest had been made because many such cases did not get as far as court.

"Older people don't want to press charges for whatever reason, more so if it's a family member. I think they're a little bit happier to make it a police matter when they're not related to the person."

Gilbert said financial abuse made up for half of all elder abuse around the country.

In total, 80 per cent of all elder abuse was committed by family members, she said, usually close family including sons or daughters.

Gilbert said often they would not want family members to get a criminal conviction, so instead put up with it or sought advice about alternatives. However, the offending family usually lived with the victims and they would be fearful of any repercussions.

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- Waikato Times

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