Prisoner accused of faking letters
A serving prisoner suspected of faking letters from Carterton District Council has also been charged with inventing letters from his own family members.
Wayne Patterson, 55, is accused of writing the fake letters to the Parole Board in an unsuccessful effort to win parole in June last year.
He made the short trip to Wanganui District Court yesterday from Wanganui Prison, where he is about eight years through a sentence of nearly nine years.
He is facing seven charges related to letters presented to the Parole Board on his behalf last year. At that hearing, board members expressed their scepticism about the authenticity of the letters.
One, on Carterton District Council letterhead, supposedly offered Patterson a job interview if he was freed from jail.
It was signed by a Paul Reynolds, of the horticulture department. The council had no employee of that name.
The matter was referred to police for investigation, and Parole Board convener Judge Russell Callander told Patterson at the time that, if the letters were found to be forgeries, he would face a further substantial length of imprisonment.
Patterson was flanked by two prison officers while making a brief appearance before Judge Dugald Matheson yesterday.
He was remanded in custody without plea on four charges in relation to writing letters from his father Thomas Patterson, and his nephew with the intention of using them to obtain a benefit.
Two further charges relate to the letter purported to be from the council, and he faces another charge of perverting the course of justice by providing a forged document to the Parole Board.
Patterson is due back in court later this month.
His present sentence ends next year, and he has another parole hearing scheduled for later this month. At his latest appearance, last September, he was told parole would not be considered until the police inquiry was completed.
Speaking from his Carterton home yesterday, Patterson's father said he had not heard about the latest charges.
He said he did write a letter to the board himself and, if his son wrote another one, "I don't know anything about it.
"I don't think he'd do that, but you don't know. It sounds a bit weird to me."
The Dominion Post