A Bega Valley nurse has admitted to stealing cash and cards from a woman visiting her dying husband in hospital before going on a "ridiculous spending spree".
Bega Local Court Magistrate Doug Dick said registered nurse Samuel Gerrit John Scheggetman, 42, used the stolen cash and cards to go on a spending spree through Bega, Cobargo and Bermagui on his way home from a shift at the South East Regional Hospital.
"There can never be any excuse," Magistrate Dick told the court while labelling Scheggetman's offending "opportunistic".
Magistrate Dick said the victim was "already having a tough enough time" after her husband had been admitted to hospital the previous night.
Court documents reveal the Bermagui resident had been captured on multiple surveillance cameras on June 25 using the stolen credit card and savings card while still wearing his hospital uniform.
Scheggetman made more than a dozen fraudulent purchases totalling more than $1000 in just under two hours, including almost $80 worth of McDonald's, fuel, high end sparkling wine and liquor from the Cobargo Hotel and Bermagui Cellars, and cigarettes and cat food from Bermagui Woolworths, where he was recognised by staff as a former employee.
Magistrate Dick placed Scheggetman on a three year community corrections order on September 15, ordering him to pay back the $300 in stolen cash, and fined him $7500 after he pleaded guilty to nine charges including seven of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
His victim told police she left her husband's hospital room on a number of occasions without her purse, once while her husband, who has since died, was being treated by Scheggetman.
Suspicion was raised when the victim received a text message from her bank advising her of a number of suspicious transactions on her accounts while she was getting ready to leave the hospital on June 25. She checked her purse to find her cards and cash missing.
The court heard Scheggetman wrote an apology letter to the court and to the victim expressing "remorse" for his actions.
"I don't expect to see you back here again," Magistrate Dick told Scheggetman.
For more Court and Crime coverage click here.