Ngatungane Moeroa Atariki appeared before Justices of Peace Carmen Temata, Bernice Manarangi and Georgina Williams at the Cook Islands High Court on February 23.
Atariki was charged with theft after she allegedly stole $359 from CITC supermarket.
Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen said the last time Atariki had appeared in court, lawyer Mark Short had represented his client on his behalf, and an application for diversion was to have been submitted.
However Rasmussen said his client had now accepted she must face the court for sentencing.
Atariki was 22 years of age and worked as a teacher aid at the Avatea Nikao School.
Rasmussen said Atariki has no previous convictions, had been paying CITC and had apologised to the company. She had also pleaded guilty to the charge.
He said his client’s current employer was surprised at the incident as she said Atariki has been working hard and had been with the school for two years. A conviction could affect her employment, the employer had said.Rasmussen said the theft had occurred after Atariki had gone into financial difficulties, and she was remorseful.
Temata said it was still a serious offence as it involved a breach of trust. She said Atariki had paid $124 to CITC and must pay the remaining balance as well as a $30 court fee.