A West Wollongong woman has admitted she needs to address her drug problem after she pretended to be a nurse and hugged a child at a school during a "bizarre" incident.
Kalia Pike, 27, was wearing blue surgical scrubs, a stethoscope around her neck, but no face mask, when she arrived at Figtree Public School about 8.30am on October 7.
A staff member approached Pike, who said, "I'm the new school nurse", which raised alarm bells for the school receptionist when they were in the car park.
The woman told Pike to leave the grounds but before she walked away towards Gibsons Road, she took off the surgical pants to reveal dark pants underneath.
A seven-year-old girl, who is vulnerable to COVID-19 virus, was walking to school. As she approached the gate, Pike called out, walked towards her and said, "hi, I'm the new school nurse".
Pike then hugged the student by wrapping her arms around her torso and shoulders for about two seconds, while still not wearing a mask, before releasing her and walking towards the Princes Highway.
Police attended and spoke to the principal.
About 3pm the same day Pike went to the school again, with the stethoscope tucked into the front of her pants.
A witness, who was aware of the earlier incident, saw Pike carrying a multi-coloured bag, wearing a tan-coloured shirt and dark-coloured NSW Health pants.
Pike told another person that she had hugged the student earlier in the day before police were called.
Pike, who was still not wearing a face mask, was arrested outside of Tyre Power on Gibsons Road and Princes Highway, Figtree.
She told police officers she was a nurse before telling them she walked past the school again in the afternoon to see who was going to pick up the girl she hugged.
Officers seized the NSW Health pants and stethoscope. Pike admitted to taking crystal methylamphetamine and a large amount of cannabis in the previous 48 hours.
Pike was charged with common assault, not complying with COVID-19 directions and purporting to be a registered health practitioner.
Pike was refused bail on October 8 and was sentenced in Wollongong Local Court last week.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Ben Bragger said Pike's criminal history was "voluminous" and was concerned the risk could be much higher if she acted in the same way again.
"In these times, this sort of mischief is not acceptable," he said.
Defence lawyer Stephanie Fowler said Pike was willing to engage with drug treatment services.
Pike told the court she knew she had to address her drug problem and acknowledged she should not have hugged the child.
Magistrate Claire Girotto noted Pike's actions were potentially dangerous and said she appeared "deluded" as she hugged a child in scrubs, pretending to be a nurse, but was not wearing a mask.
"You didn't hurt the child but you could have," she said. "This is bizarre. You are very young to be doing this sort of thing."
Pike was placed on a community corrections order for 18 months where she will have to attend drug counselling and rehab.
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