Insults fly as conman jailed

Last updated 05:00 17/05/2014

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"You make me sick to my stomach"

And the insults did not stop there as victims packed the Invercargill District Court as conman Barry Andrew Hansen, 51, was sentenced to four years and six months' jail for fraud and theft offences totalling more than $400,000 in Southland.

Two of Hansen's victims read their impact statements during the sentencing, speaking about the toll his offending had caused.

Rebecca Turnbull said her terminally ill father had given Hansen more than $60,000 to invest before his death in 2012, but it was never invested - instead it was used to pay Hansen's own debts.

Turnbull said her father described Hansen as a friend.

"How could he take advantage of a sick man? It makes me sick to my stomach that he preyed on a dying man," she said.

Another victim, a widow, who Hansen short-changed on a life insurance payout worth more than $386,000, said his offending had caused her considerable financial and emotional stress.

Hansen sought her out when she was at her most vulnerable and said he would help her with a life insurance payout after her partner died.

The court was told he put his bank account number on forms and the insurance company paid him the full amount but he only passed on $100,000 to the widow, saying he would invest the rest.

"He preyed on my emotional state, lied and cheated my family," she said.

Defence lawyer Simon Claver said Hansen was remorseful.

Crown lawyer John Young said Hansen had run a pyramid or ponzi scheme and his indication he could pay victims back was not a reality.

Judge Michael Turner said he did not consider Hansen's remorse to be genuine and that, as a 51-year-old, unemployed bankrupt, with no assets, his ability to repay his victims was unlikely.

To say he could repay money was a shallow attempt to seek some credit, the judge said.

The offending spanned between 2009 to 2012 and during the police investigation it was revealed Hansen had extensive financial burdens and the money taken from the victims was used to fund his personal expenses.

Hansen was charged with three charges of obtaining by pecuniary advantage and one of theft by a person in a special relationship.

The four charges consisted of four groups of victims.

Hansen was paid $57,500 by a group of men after he agreed to sell a Makarewa property which he did not own; he failed to pay back $63,000 after a terminally ill friend had given him the money to invest; he paid a woman only $100,000 of her $386,000 life insurance payout, and took $30,000 from a woman to build a sleep-out, which was never built.

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- The Southland Times

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