Charlotte Price (pictured with lawyer Jason Phister) pleaded guilty to three charges in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today. Photo: Lucy Rutherford
Charlotte Price (pictured with lawyer Jason Phister) pleaded guilty to three charges in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today. Photo: Lucy Rutherford

‘Impostor:’ Woman forges qualifications to gain nursing job

A MOTHER-of-two forged documents and used another nurse's identity in order to gain employment at a Sunshine Coast aged care home.

Charlotte Emma Price pleaded guilty to three charges in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today, including attempted fraud, forgery and uttering.

Police prosecutor Amanda Brewer told the court Price had made an application for the position of clinical manager with Bolton Clarke residential accommodation.

The court heard the requirements of that position was a bachelor of nursing, current nursing registration with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with a minimum of four years' experience.

Charlotte Emma Price pleaded guilty to forgery and attempted fraud in court today.
Charlotte Emma Price pleaded guilty to forgery and attempted fraud in court today.

"As a result of Ms Price making an application for this position, there's been documentation presented," Senior Constable Brewer said.

"AHPRA has contacted this victim business and advised that the defendant under the name Charlotte Price was not and had never been a registered nurse."

The court heard that the registration number provided by Price belonged to a female nurse by the name of Charlotte Price Robertson, who was a registered nurse and resided in Victoria.

"Charlotte Price Robertson advised she has never resided in Queensland and had never applied for the position with the victim business," Senior Constable Brewer said.

"The actions by Ms Price in securing that job were deliberate, they were thought out and they were planned and required a significant number of steps including the written application, interview process and the making of the documents.

"Of note, Ms Price was actually offered the position, and it was only the due diligence and the checks conducted that exposed the offences."

Sen Const. Brewer said the most concerning aspect of the offending was the potential harm that would have been present if Price secured the position while not being a registered nurse.

"The job involved a hands on approach with significant contribution to the care of the residents within the facility," she said.

Defence lawyer Jason Phister told the court Price, who moved to Australia from the UK seven years ago, worked for three years as a registered nurse in the Telford hospital.

The court heard Price had two young children and was very remorseful for her actions.

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist told the court these were very serious offences, particularly because Price had been offered the position.

"You've taken a shortcut but you were an impostor. I don't know how you went about finding something with a similar name, but you did. That shows a lot of thought and planning," he said.

"You were successful in receiving the position and you were just lucky that like a lot of other fraudsters you were caught early."

Price was sentenced to a head sentence of nine months jail, which was wholly suspended for 18 months.


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