More jail for spree with stolen card
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.
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