A NURSE who stole $23,700 from an 81-year-old patient has been jailed.
Danielle Louise Skobe was employed at a Hervey Bay retirement village when she took a credit card from a woman in her care, a court has heard. She then withdrew cash over a two-month period last year.
The 39-year-old Kawungan resident pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court last week to stealing.
Skobe, who has no criminal history, sobbed as Magistrate Stephen Guttridge told her time behind bars was the "only option" as a punishment for a crime of this nature.
Police prosecutor Sonia Edwards said the victim kept a bank card and its pin details in her purse, stored next to her bed at the nursing home.
"She was never given permission to use the bank card to withdraw cash," Snr Const Edwards said.
"She used the card 29 times, and withdrew an amount of $23,700 from the victim's account."
It was after the victim's son noticed the transactions that police were notified.
Defence lawyer Hamish Isles said financial hardship caused by a family court case was why Skobe committed the crime.
Mr Isles said Skobe tried to make extra money ethically, including attempts to pick up extra shifts, but once those avenues were exhausted, she settled for theft.
"She accepts it was a very poor decision," Mr Isles said.
Skobe worked as a nurse for a decade but will never work in the profession again.
Since losing her job, she has been looking into factory worker positions.
Skobe was sentenced to two years in jail, to be released on parole April 17.
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