Juror's wallet stolen from courthouse

MARTY SHARPE
Last updated 08:08 21/06/2013

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Hawke's Bay

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A woman who stole a juror's wallet from a courthouse has been told by a judge it was "one of the cheekiest offences I've seen in recent years".

Chezanne Wallace entered the Napier court on March 21 and noticed an elderly man had placed his wallet on a counter beside the security screening area in the foyer. He was trying to make a call on his cellphone and went outside to get better reception. CCTV footage showed the 35-year-old woman looking at the wallet as she entered the court. A short time later she is seen leaving and picking up the wallet as she passes.

The wallet contained $150 cash and various cards to a total value of $430. When caught by police she said she bought food with the cash and discarded the rest of the contents.

Wallace appeared in Napier District Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to a charge of theft. Her lawyer, Phil Jensen, said it was "spontaneous, opportunistic offending". He noted Wallace had a long list of previous convictions and said she admitted the theft when presented with the evidence.

Judge Jonathan Down sentenced her to 80 hours' community work and ordered her to pay reparation of $430.

Contact Marty Sharpe
Hawke's Bay reporter
Email: marty.sharpe@dompost.co.nz

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