An experienced office worker with a previously unblemished record, today admitted stealing thousands in cash after falling behind with her household bills.

Deborah May Hannah, a 53-year-old PA, had worked at a Christchurch weight loss surgery for more than eight years.

She was in charge of the company's finances and responsible for processing cash payments from clients.

But between September 2011 and October 2013 she received 25 cash payments from patients that were not paid into the company's bank account, Christchurch District Court heard today.


The cash payments were in sums varying from $70 to $1070, according to the police summary of facts.

Hannah, of Christchurch, either altered or deleted the cash receipt so it was not entered into the accounting system.

She then kept the cash, which totalled $16,225.

When her offending was uncovered, she admitted the thefts.

She told police she "had a lot of bills to pay".

Hannah, who has no previous convictions, left the company in November 2013.

Today she pleaded guilty to a representative charge of theft by person in special relationship.

Judge Tony Couch said it was a serious breach of trust.


Police are seeking a reparation order for the stolen cash, plus another $5261.26 to cover the company's cost of an accountant to identify the offending.

Judge Couch referred the matter for a restorative justice conference between Hannah and her former employers ahead of sentencing on December 9.

Her bail conditions were altered today to allow her to travel to Australia for a family wedding.