Aug 17, 2021

District nurse caught stealing from patient after family set up hidden camera

District nurse caught stealing from patient  after family set up hidden camera

Nurse Jessica Dart was found guilty of professional misconduct at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) last week, more than three years after her crimes. 

According to reports, Ms Dart had been working as a district nurse in a Victorian regional centre when she began stealing money from an elderly client who was living alone at the time. 

The elderly woman’s family had grown suspicious that Mr Dart was stealing her money, so they made arrangements to monitor the contents of her purse where they found that money was constantly disappearing. 

The family then set up a hidden camera in the bedroom of their elderly loved one where they observed Ms Dart picking up the woman’s purse and removing her money.

Ms Dart also pleaded guilty to theft in the Magistrate’s Court and was released, without conviction, on a good behaviour bond. The court also heard that thefts amounted to a total of $200.

Ms Dart’s nursing registration was suspended on 19 February 2018. She will now be required to undertake an ethics course to regain her registration after being suspended for more than three years.

The VCAT tribunal also noted that the small monetary total of the theft was “irrelevant because the breach of trust was so significant”.

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  1. I wonder how often this happens and no one knows. The elderly are so vulnerable and families just think they have forgotten how much they had in cash. I hope this Dart woman has learned her lesson, but are there any records of this theft if she applies to work for Providers. Maybe the Police check would reveal the theft. She could also work privately as many do and risk it.

  2. What that District Nurse did was deplorable, these people are placed in great positions of trust, but then violate the trust and the rights of the elderly to be protected.

    My Mother was in a regional Aged Care facility, whilst there her wedding ring was lost (?), her hearing aid went missing, and her stereo system also disappeared; no responsibility was accepted by the management, who refused to even investigate the missing items.

    Complete background checks need to be taken of all staff by the management, and all disappearances thoroughly investigated.

  3. How shameful is this behaviour?
    There is nothing that can match trust. Nurses are always at the top of the public trust list. Episodes like this might cause a wobble. My personal view is ethics are like empathy. You either have it in your genes or you do not.

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