Woman admits role in car theft

A Nelson woman has been sentenced for her part in the theft of a car from Christchurch Airport after the offending was caught on airport security footage.

Emily Catherine Cornelius, 19, pleaded guilty to the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in September.

Four people, who had travelled to Christchurch in a Toyota Celica, were seen on airport security footage breaking into a Toyota Surf valued at about $11,000.

One of the associates then lifted the barrier arm in the parking building, allowing the two vehicles to exit.

Later in the afternoon Cornelius took over the driving of the Surf and the two cars drove to a reserve in New Brighton.

While driving she lost control of the Surf and hit a fence.

The group then drove back to Christchurch city and parked the Surf on the side of the road.

The court heard $2000 of property that had been in the car had not been recovered.

Lawyer Alan Heward said that when the vehicle was initially stolen Cornelius was asleep in the other car.

She later drove the car after an associate asked her to because they did not hold a driver's licence.

Mr Heward said Cornelius was three months pregnant and experiencing morning sickness, which could impact on a possible sentence of community work.

Judge Tony Zohrab said that according to the victim impact statement the car owners, two part-time relief teachers, were out of pocket a great deal.

It was pretty obvious early on that Cornelius knew what the story was with regards to the car being stolen, he said. He sentenced her to pay $3250 in reparation, disqualified her from driving for one month and ordered her to do 50 hours of community work.

The Nelson Mail