More jail for spree with stolen card

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - OLIVIA SHY­ING

A CORIO mum al­ready in prison for steal­ing thou­sands of dol­lars from el­derly, vul­ner­a­ble men has had five months added to her sen­tence.

Char­maine El­ston, 31, ap­peared at the Gee­long Mag­is­trates’ Court by video link yes­ter­day to plead guilty to a fur­ther two charges.

El­ston, who was jailed for three years and eight months af­ter plead­ing guilty to a se­ries of charges in­clud­ing rob­bery, ag­gra­vated bur­glary and ob­tain­ing fi­nan­cial ad­van­tage by de­cep­tion, had ear­lier con­tested the charges heard yes­ter­day.

But af­ter the ini­tial charges were con­sol­i­dated El­ston pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and ob­tain ad­van­tage by de­cep­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tor Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Ker­rie Moroney told the court El­ston be­friended an 80-year-old man and vis­ited him on sev­eral oc­ca­sions be­tween Jan­uary 16 and March 12, 2016.

Over that time El­ston stole a credit card which she used hun­dreds of times, rack­ing up $4870.75 in charges.

Through a vic­tim im­pact state­ment read to the court the 80-year-old said El­ston’s de­cep­tion had left him “shaken up” and had filled him with mis­trust.

“I still feel shaken up and it has caused me to lose con­fi­dence, not trust peo­ple,” he said in the state­ment.

“It has caused me to have a debt with Cen­tre­link and a fi­nan­cial loss.”

The court was told the vic- tim “no longer felt safe around Corio”, his home for 40 years, and had moved to Mel­bourne in the wake of El­ston’s of­fend­ing.

El­ston’s lawyer David Carolan said his client func­tioned at “an extremely low ca­pac­ity” and had been plagued by trauma she had ex­pe­ri­enced as a child.

In call­ing for his client to be given a wholly con­cur­rent sen­tence, Mr Carolan said El­ston was do­ing well in cus­tody, work­ing and should be given the op­por­tu­nity to be re­leased into the com­mu­nity at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble date.

Mag­is­trate John Lesser, who was also sen­tenc­ing El­ston over a breach of a com­mu­nity cor­rec­tions or­der, said a fur­ther term of im­pris­on­ment was the only ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence.

He sen­tenced El­ston to a fur­ther five months over the new charges, with three months to be served con­cur­rently, and an ad­di­tional one month to be served con­cur­rently over the cor­rec­tions breach.

El­ston will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role in Oc­to­ber 2020.

Pic­ture: ALAN BAR­BER

FRIENDLY FE­LINES: GAWS head vet David Pullen with Hoppy and, in­set, fel­low vet Gemma Hay with Nigel and Parker.

Char­maine El­ston

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