BUNDBARGE BASE HOSPITAL: Generic File Photos. Paul Donaldson BUN261017HOS4

SISTER ACT: Siblings steal hundreds from man in hospital

TWO sisters have each been sentenced to suspended prison terms after stealing from a person who dropped their wallet at Bundaberg Hospital.

Melissa Joy Evans and Nicki Jay Evans both pleaded guilty to one count of stealing in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday morning.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Andrew Blunt told the court that on June 1 the sisters went to the hospital to get Melissa medical attention.

About 4pm, Melissa picked up the lost wallet and shoved it down the front of her shorts.

The siblings briefly left the area and then returned minutes later to hand the wallet in to hospital staff.

$640 in cash was stolen.

When spoken to, Melissa didn't offer an explanation and said she didn't take anything out of the wallet.

In court on Monday defence lawyer Matt Messenger said Melissa suffered from ongoing cardiac issues and complications from a medical condition.

As a result, the woman stood before Magistrate Belinda Merrin yesterday with a portable drip attached to her left arm.

"That didn't stop her from committing an offence though," Ms Merrin said.

The court heard both sisters were intoxicated when the theft took place.

Mr Messenger said his clients had been introduced to drugs by older boyfriends and had had substance abuse problems ever since.

He added, however, that Nicki, who had benefited from the theft and was present when it happened, had recently completed a drug and alcohol treatment program run by Bridges.

The restitution ($640) was paid in full prior to yesterday's sentencings.

Mr Messenger argued the circumstances of the theft were less serious than other stealing offences where people actively went out to find something to steal.

"This is an opportunistic matter. They were confronted with the temptation, they gave in to that temptation," he said.

Both Melissa and Nicki have stealing offences in their criminal histories.

They were each sentenced to two months in prison, wholly suspended for 12 months.