A Whanganui person's Work and Income money was "spent on P" after a friend stole it, a court has heard.

Shontele King's friend did not have a bank account, so had their benefit money deposited into King's account, police prosecutor Sergeant Stephen Butler said on Tuesday.

After the payments had been made, King told the victim the money never showed up in her account, but the victim didn't believe her and confronted her about it outside Westpac bank, Mr Butler told the Whanganui District Court.

King went back inside the bank and sat in the waiting area "for some time" before coming back out and telling the victim "she was not getting her money".

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King had transferred the money to another account but would not say whose account it was. She said the money was spent on P "and it's gone", Mr Butler said. She pleaded guilty to theft. Reparation of $210 is sought. Judge David Cameron remanded King to February 5 for sentence.