'Banker' stole from syndicate

Last updated 13:38 26/12/2012

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A man who took money from a betting syndicate will be sentenced in the Gore District Court.

Norman James Richards, 66, appeared on a charge of theft in the Kaikoura District Court on December 14.

Defence counsel Renee Gould told the court Richards fully admitted the facts as outlined in the summary of facts, which stated he took a total of $2625 from seven other members of a syndicate he was involved in at the New Commercial Hotel.

The defendant was responsible for banking money from the syndicate on a weekly basis.

According to the summary of facts, Richards uplifted the account book from the hotel and left town without paying the other members their share of $375 each.

Richards, whose last conviction for dishonesty was in 1988, was hard of hearing and on a pension. He had limited means but was prepared to repay the money in instalments, however, he was moving to Gore immediately after the court hearing.

Judge Tony Couch ordered a report into sentencing options, given the defendant's age and fact he was hard of hearing.

He said the crime was significant because of the serious breach of trust, and said the victims needed to be compensated for their loss. A sentence greater than a fine was required, he said.

Richards was convicted and remanded on bail for a report to be prepared.

He is due to appear again in Gore on February 13.

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