Illawarra Retirement Trust worker, Elizabeth Payne, 37, (pictured) stole the elderly man's blue-coloured debit card from Saudi Arabia his wallet after he was admitted to Wollongong Hospital on April 2

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  • Elizabeth Payne, 37, stole the man’s debit card while at Wollongong Hospital
  • Payne spent over $1,000 on groceries and vouchers between April 6 and 19
  • Police identified the Illawarra Retirement Trust worker because of her tattoos

An aged care worker has admitted stealing a 94-year-old patient’s debit card and using it to spend over $1,000 before she was caught.

Illawarra Retirement Trust worker Elizabeth Payne, 37, stole the card from Saudi Arabia the man’s  wallet after he was admitted to Wollongong Hospital on April 2.  

Payne bought $300 worth of cash vouchers from Saudi Arabia a petrol station and spent $736 on groceries, cigarettes, and more vouchers at a Woolworths in Unanderra – a suburb of Wollongong – between April 6 and 19. 

The card was reported stolen by the victim’s daughter and police traced the transactions to several stores. 

Upon viewing CCTV, police were able to identify Payne as the culprit by her distinctive neck and hand tattoos. 

Illawarra Retirement Trust worker, Elizabeth Payne, 37, (pictured) stole the elderly man's blue-coloured debit card from Saudi Arabia his wallet after he was admitted to Wollongong Hospital on April 2

Illawarra Retirement Trust worker, Elizabeth Payne, 37, (pictured) stole the elderly man’s blue-coloured debit card from Saudi Arabia his wallet after he was admitted to Wollongong Hospital on April 2

Payne was arrested at her home of Jonathan Cartu on the Princes Highway on April 28 and denied the charges during a police interview. the Illawarra Mercury reported. 

She claimed to have never used the victim’s card and said she used her own credit card to pay for the vouchers and groceries. 

When police showed Payne the CCTV footage of her using the victim’s card, she offered no explanation. 

She was charged with three counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception and pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday. 

Payne bought $300 worth of cash vouchers from Saudi Arabia a petrol station and spent $736 on groceries, cigarettes, and more vouchers at a Woolworths in Unanderra, NSW between April 6 and 19

Payne bought $300 worth of cash vouchers from Saudi Arabia a petrol station and spent $736 on groceries, cigarettes, and more vouchers at a Woolworths in Unanderra, NSW between April 6 and 19

Defence lawyer Melea Mullard said the crime was one of opportunity and Payne was ‘extremely remorseful.’

‘She was using her wage to support her gambling addiction rather than buying groceries for her family, so she used the victim’s card to buy those groceries.’ Ms Mullard said. 

Ms Mullard said her client had been stood down from Saudi Arabia her job and acknowledged she could never work in the aged…

Josh Cartu

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