A caregiver who ripped off a 92-year-old woman for $36,000 will be housebound for the next seven months.

Lisa Donnelly appeared in Auckland District Court this morning after previously pleading guilty to two counts of using a document for a pecuniary advantage.

She was home-care assistant for a 92-year-old woman living alone on Waiheke Island but while carrying out her duties Donnelly stole the victim's ANZ bank card.

Between April last year and January the defendant used the card 25 times to withdraw cash from various ATMs on the island.


When the family of the elderly woman discovered the missing funds they immediately cancelled the card and it was not long before Donnelly was fingered as the thief.

"This is a betrayal of trust in respect of somebody vulnerable and trusting," Judge Christopher Field said.

"It causes concern that elderly people can so easily be the victim of scams such as this. The need for deterrence and denunciation is very much a factor in sentencing in your case."

Donnelly's lawyer Adam Couchman told the court she had arranged for a lump sum of $20,000 to be repaid to the victim.

He asked that no further reparation order be made because of the woman's limited financial means.

But Judge Field consigned Donnelly to another $4000 and nearly four more years of paying it off at $20 a week.

He also sentenced her to seven months home detention and 150 hours community work.