‘I’m sorry and seeking help’
A heavily pregnant woman stole from a staffroom while pretending to be enrolling her daughter in school.
On September 20, Courtney Elizabeth Young, 30, went to St Joseph’s Primary School in Waitara, North Taranaki, and asked for an enrolment form for her daughter.
She was given one, the enrolment process was explained to her and she gave false details for both herself and her daughter.
She then left the reception area but made her way to the back of the school to a staff-only area.
When a staff member found her there, Young, who was 38 weeks pregnant, said she was waiting to discuss the enrolment with the principal. The staff member made Young a coffee and went to try and find the principal for her.
While she was away, Young picked up the woman’s purse and computer bag and a first aid kit before going into a nearby classroom and taking a set of keys and a wallet containing $170 in cash that were in the purse. She then threw away the purse before scarpering with the keys, wallet, computer bag and first aid kit.
In the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday Young pleaded guilty to one charge of theft.
‘‘The stolen matters were the property of the victim and valued at about $2,500,’’ the summary of facts said. All the items were later recovered by police, except for the $170 cash.
Young declined a lawyer when she appeared in court and when Judge Kevin Glubb asked if there was anything she wished to say, Young said while she still disputed the outstanding $170, there was no excuse for her actions and apologised for stealing the items.
‘‘I’ve just been going through a bit of a hard time, sir,’’ she said.
She said she was 38 weeks pregnant and had enrolled in courses to help herself.
‘‘I genuinely am sorry and I’m seeking help for my actions,’’ she said. ‘‘I want to make a better future for my son.’’
She said she would be able to pay reparation and would also be able to do community work with the support of her wha¯ nau, who could look after her children.
Glubb said Young had breached the trust of the staff member who took her at face-value.
He sentenced her to 60 hours of community work, 10 months supervision and ordered her to pay $170 in reparation.