Pregnant woman stole mobile phones from nurses

A PREGNANT woman with a history of stealing and dishonesty pinched an iPhone 4 from a nurse who was treating her during a hospital visit.

Haylee Jayde Banyer swiped the phone when the nurse left the room during an appointment at Townsville Hospital on September 25.

Warwick Magistrates Court this week heard the victim spotted Banyer leaving the consultation room and the 21-year-old said she was going to the bathroom and would return shortly.

Banyer then left the hospital with the phone.

Staff from the hospital soon called the expectant mother, who returned to the hospital but denied taking the phone, inviting staff to check her bag. Instead they called police, who located the phone in the possession of Banyer's boyfriend, Damien Lee Davison, who was in the hospital car park.

The 23-year-old told police he got the phone from his girlfriend and he knew it had been stolen.

Text messages showed Banyer tried to sell the phone, valued at $1000, for $50.

The theft followed a similar incident a fortnight earlier, when Banyer helped herself to a Nokia N97 belonging to another staff member at the same hospital. The phone, which was valued at $700, was never recovered.

Defence lawyer for the couple Phillip Crook told the court his clients' actions were to some degree motivated by necessity.

"She's expecting, they were homeless and in somewhat of a dire situation," he said.

This week Banyer pleaded guilty to two stealing charges and Davison pleaded guilty to one charge of receiving tainted property.

Banyer was placed on 12 months probation and ordered to undergo medical, psychiatric and psychological treatment as required.

Davison, whom Magistrate Graham Lee described as a "different kettle of fish" due to his lack of history, was fined $500.

The police prosecutor asked Mr Lee to order Banyer to pay $700 restitution for the stolen phone but the request was rejected due to her lack of income.

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