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Thieving nurse collapses while waiting to be sentenced

UPDATED AT 6PM: IN AN ironic twist, a former Bundaberg Hospital nurse found guilty of stealing from his elderly and vulnerable patients has returned to the scene of the crime after collapsing while waiting to be sentenced

Shawn Michael Corocher, 37, faced trial in Bundaberg District Court after pleading not guilty to 23 offences including 12 of stealing, 10 of fraud and one of attempted fraud.

Corocher was visibly upset as he sat in the witness box and listened as the jury found him guilty on 21 of the 23 charges, with not guilty verdicts delivered for one stealing and one fraud offence.

Late this afternoon while waiting to be sentenced, an ambulance was called to attend Corocher after, as the NewsMail understands, he collapsed, possibly due to an epileptic fit.

At 11.04am this morning, the jury left to deliberate before returning at 11.08am for Judge Sarah Bradley to clarify two points. The jury then retired for the second time at 11.12am.

They took about three hours to reach their verdict.

During the trial, a parade of complainants, many of them elderly, frail and requiring the support of walkers, gave evidence their bank cards were stolen while at the hospital and some said they had been tricked into giving out their PIN numbers during phone calls from someone claiming to be from their bank.

In summing up the case before the two male, 10 female jury retired, Judge Bradley outlined the case from both the defence and the prosecution.

She told the jury the prosecution had carefully gone through the evidence of each of the complainants.

Judge Bradley said there was no dispute that most of the complainants did lose their cards and many had money taken from their accounts, what the jury needed to consider was whether it was Corocher who did it.

"You need to decide the facts on the evidence and leave your emotions outside the jury room," she said.

She said while the victims were vulnerable and appeared to have been taken advantage of at a particularly vulnerable time of their lives; it would also be devastating to have been wrongly accused of the offences.

"You need to very carefully consider the arguments of the defence and prosecution," she said.

During the eight day trial, the jury was shown a video recording of a police interview of Corocher who admitted to stealing a card from one patient and withdrawing money from her account.

In the video he also admitted to finding the card of another patient outside the hospital.

Taking the witness stand on day six of the trial, Corocher claimed the confession was a lie, and that he made up the confession because he felt pressured by the police and wanted to go home.

The sentence was adjourned to Friday morning.  

 

EARLIER: A FORMER Bundaberg Hospital nurse has been found guilty of stealing from his patients. 

Shawn Michael Corocher, 37, faced trial in Bundaberg District Court after pleading not guilty to 23 offences including 12 of stealing, 10 of fraud and one of attempted fraud. 

A jury found him guilty on all charges except for one stealing and one fraud offence.

The jury was sent out about 11am and delivered their verdict at 2.30pm. 

More to come

Topics:  bundaberg district court



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