As hospital staff tried to save the life of a 2-year-old boy run over, a family member swiped a doctor’s two phones and a bank card and went on a spending spree.
The child died a short time later but Melissa Herewini had already taken the bank card to four stores in Rotorua and bought alcohol, food, petrol, phone credit and cigarettes.
Herewini, 34, pleaded guilty to the four charges of obtaining by deception when she appeared in the Rotorua District Court for the first time on January 13. Judge Maree Mackenzie sentenced her to one-year intensive supervision.
It was New Year’s Eve when the boy was run over in the driveway of a Rotorua house in what police have described as a tragic accident.
The boy was from outside the area, had been at the Rotorua house with family members when the accident happened.
A police summary of facts, released to the Rotorua Daily Post, said family members took the 2-year-old to Rotorua Hospital with life-threatening injuries about 7.45pm on December 31.
The summary said Herewini was one of the family members who arrived at the hospital with the boy and his mother.
He was rushed into the resuscitation area of the Emergency Department where medical staff worked frantically to save his life.
While doing that, one of the doctors put her two mobile phones – one which contained her credit card on a bench while she performed CPR on the child.
Herewini took the opportunity to pick up the phone and credit card and hid them on herself and left the hospital in a hurry.
The doctor and her medical colleagues were unsuccessful in reviving the child and he was pronounced dead at 8.50pm
Shortly after, the doctor noticed her phones and card were missing and she alerted police. It was established the card had already been used six times.