Public Statement and Statement of Decision in relation to Ms Marie Bensley

23 May 2018

The Commission makes the following Public Statement and Prohibition Order to Ms Bensley under Section 41A(1)(b) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993:

The Commission finds that Ms Marie Bensley has breached the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Practitioners – Public Health Regulation 2012, Schedule 3, Clause 3(1), in that she failed to provide care in a safe and ethical manner when:

Ms Bensley was employed as an Assistant in Nursing at the Bourke Street Health Service in Goulburn.

On 23 November 2017, the daughter of Patient A informed staff of the Bourke Street Health Service that her father’s Debit MasterCard was missing. Bank statements supported that the debit card had been used from 20 November 2017 to 24 November 2017 with a total expenditure of approximately $1495.19. Patient A’s daughter notified Police.

On 27 November 2017, Patient B informed staff that her credit card was not in her purse and that her credit card statement showed many unauthorised purchases. On further investigation by Police it was found that Patient B’s account had been accessed with an accumulative expenditure and interest charges of approximately $3024.37 between 19 October 2017 and 27 November 2017.

Police investigations found that Ms Bensley had made 25 fraudulent transactions using Patient A’s Debit MasterCard and 98 fraudulent transactions using Patient B’s credit card.

During preliminary enquiries by NSW Police, Ms Bensley was identified through CCTV and witness statements. This information was confirmed on review of credit card statements.

On 28 November 2017, Ms Bensley was arrested and held in custody. Ms Bensley was charged with the following offences namely, Larceny (2 counts), under Section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900, Dishonestly Obtaining Financial Advantage by Deception (5 counts) under Section 192e(1)(B) of the Crimes Act 1900 and Dishonestly Obtaining Property by Deception (3 counts) under Section 192e(1)(A) of the Crimes Act 1900.

On 17 January 2018, Ms Bensley appeared before Goulburn Local Court, convictions were entered on all 10 charges and Ms Bensley was sentenced to a Community Services Order for 250 hours (due to expire on 16 January 2019). She was also ordered to compensate the victims of her crimes.

Ms Bensley was responsible for the care of elderly residents who are vulnerable due their age and at times underlying health conditions. Family members placed trust in Ms Bensley to deliver appropriate care and treatment to Patients A and B and Ms Bensley betrayed their trust and in doing so undermined the health and wellbeing of all residents at Bourke Street Health Service.

Prohibition order

The totality of the evidence supports a finding that Ms Bensley represents a risk to the  health or safety of members of the public which necessitates the making of the following Prohibition Order pursuant to Section 41A(2)(a)(i) of the Act:

Ms Bensley is prohibited for three years from providing any health services in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Further Information

Access the Commission’s Statement of Decision here

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information is correct at the time of publication.