Our client is a 48-year old registered nurse.
She was charged with 13 counts of ‘Dishonestly Obtain Financial Advantage by Deception’ under section 192E of the Crimes Act (‘fraud’), and one count of Larceny (stealing).
The ‘fraud’ charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and the maximum for larceny is 5 years.
Our client was alleged to have attended various Myer stores, and presented to the counter with unpaid items from within the stores, together with corresponding incorrect online receipts for a refund or return credit.
This was alleged to have occurred for nearly 6 months, resulting in over $10,000 being transferred into her bank account.
We obtained a psychological report during the course of the proceedings, evidencing that our client suffers from major depression and anxiety.
Based upon the contents of that report, we made an application under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act for all of the charges to be dismissed provided our client completes a ‘treatment plan’ requiring her to, among other things, continue seeing her treating psychologist.
The presiding magistrate accepted our application in court, and our client was discharged under the section without a finding of guilt.
She is therefore free to continue her employment as a nurse, provided she continues getting the help she needs to overcome her underlying conditions.