ROBBER OWNS UP AT LAST
VICTIM A PENSIONER, 87
A CORIO woman has finally admitted she picked the pocket of a confused, 87-year-old pensioner on a mobility scooter outside his local bank.
But Charmaine Elston’s admission yesterday came too late for the victim, who had Parkinson’s disease, and has since died.
Geelong Magistrates’ Court heard Elston, 31, had her four-year-old daughter with her when she robbed the man on May 25 outside the Corio Village Commonwealth Bank ATM.
Police immediately identified Elston after being alerted to the crime by the victim’s daughter and viewing the bank’s security footage.
They showed Elston the vision, and she identified her daughter and friend Ann Maree Jones, but denied she was the person carrying the child.
The charade ended yesterday when magistrate Michael Coghlan offered Elston a onemonth jail term for the theft.
He told the woman she was likely to get a longer term if she continued to fight the charges and was later found guilty, and also said the prison sentence would count among the eight weeks she has already spent in custody after being arrested and refused bail in September.
After a brief discussion with her lawyer Adrian Paull, Elston agreed to plead guilty.
Police prosecutors were likely to use a written statement from the victim and the video evidence in the case against Elston if she took the matter to a contested hearing.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Geoff Lamb said the footage showed Jones walk past the ATM, watching the victim withdraw $800.
Although the man did not know them, Elston and Jones started a conversation with him and confused him as he reversed his scooter back towards the ATM.
He told police he recalled one of the women putting her arm around him and touching him at the side, but didn’t realise his money was gone until they’d driven off.
He later told his daughter, who notified police.
Elston still has a number of matters before the courts, and was kept in custody to await those.
Mr Coghlan told her he would have jailed her for three months on the theft matter had she fought the charge and been found guilty.
Charmaine Elston leaves court earlier this year.