Liquidator's partner gives evidence

01:00, Sep 29 2012

A trial involving Nelson liquidator Pat Norris has been adjourned to next week.

Judge Michael Behrens yesterday remanded the case until Thursday for closing submissions. The defence finished its case yesterday.

Norris, 55, has denied a charge of theft in a special relationship. He is defending himself in a judge-alone trial in Nelson District Court.

The Crown alleges Norris stole $80,900 that was deposited into his company, Norris Management Services' bank account for the liquidation of an Auckland company, Astra Enterprises. The $80,900 was the sole asset of Astra Enterprises.

The Crown says there was no evidence of any creditors being paid and Norris spent the money on the running of his business.

Norris said the money went on fees.


Yesterday his accountant and partner, Claire Parr, gave evidence.

Ms Parr said she started working as an accountant with company Savage and Savage, and had worked at Tax Link for 14 years.

She started working for Norris in September 2009, and had been his partner since December 2008, she said.

Ms Parr said she started working on the Astra Enterprises file from their Nile St home.

She said the file was one of the worst she had seen in her whole accountancy career and she had to recreate the accounts, which took some time.

The Crown says Norris did not do any work on the Astra file, and made up invoices for the case retrospectively after he was probed by the Companies' Office last March.

He said the liquidation cost him $38,000 and Ms Parr's accountancy work cost an extra $28,000.

An invoice for Ms Parr's time on the Astra file was filed in 2009.

Ms Parr was unable to find her 2009 diary to show the court the time periods she had recorded to show she had worked on the file, but said she worked on it at home.

She did have her 2010 notebook in court which she agreed showed she had worked for 51 hours on the Astra Enterprises file for that year, at a cost of about $6630.

The court has heard that several invoices that Norris submitted on the Astra Enterprises case where not in sequential order.

Ms Parr said she could not say why that was, but said the company had changed accounting systems.

She was also unable to explain why two GST returns for Astra at different periods were for the exact same amount, but said IRD audited the returns before paying them out.

She was also unable to say why copies of GST returns had not been provided to the court for some periods for the Astra file, but said it was not unheard of for files to go missing at the IRD.