Guilty plea to robbery comes just as jury was filing into court for trial

KATHLEEN Theresa Smith pleaded guilty to the robbery of an elderly man moments before she was due to stand trial in Orange District Court.

Jurors had begun to assemble in the Orange Court House shortly before 1pm on Monday when Smith said she had committed the crime, but disagreed with some of the details. 

Smith was arrested in Orange on December 18, 2012, for the robbery of an elderly man in the front doorway of his home a day earlier.

At the time, police said the 46-year-old watched the victim pay for his groceries at Coles supermarket. 

She approached him and asked him if he knew someone called Michael. 

The victim brushed her off and told her he had no idea what she was talking about. 

He picked up his groceries and walked home, unaware Smith was following him. When he got home, he placed his groceries on the ground and fumbled for his keys to open the door. 

Smith ran at him, grabbed him in a bear hug and forced him halfway down the hallway before she ripped his shirt and stole $1590. 

Smith had been in custody since her arrest and was refused bail in Orange District Court on Tuesday after Judge Norrish set a date for her to be sentenced.

The victim is expected to give evidence about the impact of the attack on his life at the hearing today. 

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