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Pleading guilty: Mother receives No Conviction under Section 32 Mental Health Application for Larceny and Shoplifting charges

Our client is a 35-year old registered nurse and recently became a mother.
She was charged with Larceny (‘stealing’) and shoplifting.
Police alleged that our client attended various high-end retail stores to steal items.
She was captured on CCTV removing the price labels from various clothing items and placing them inside her handbag before leaving the store without paying.
On one such occasion she was stopped by security at a Myer store and items were discovered in her handbag. Police were called and she was subsequently charged.
Significantly, she had enough money to pay for the items and offered to pay for them after she was caught.
She came to us distraught and concerned about the impact this would have on her ability to continue working as a nurse.
Due to our experience, this was a scenario we had seen before. Oftentimes women resort to shoplifting as a coping mechanism for post-natal depression.
We immediately arranged for our client to see a psychologist who specialises in this area.
A report was prepared by the psychologist which confirmed that our client’s offending was due to post-natal depression.
The case proceeded at Downing Centre Local Court where we made an application under Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 for the charges to be dismissed.
The presiding magistrate granted the application and our client was discharged under the section without a finding of guilt.
She is elated to be able to continue her employment.

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