Norris sentenced to home detention

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:13 24/01/2013

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Nelson liquidator Pat Norris was today sentenced to 10 months home detention, 100 hours community work and ordered to pay $31,724 reparation.

In October last year Norris was convicted of theft by a person in a special relationship, after a two-week trial.

Norris, 55, had represented himself in a non-jury trial in the Nelson District Court.

Judge Michael Behrens said in sentencing today that the reparation order was made in relation to a Nelson couple who were personally affected by Norris's dealings.

Judge Behrens determined that the Inland Revenue Department and a company owed money by Norris could sue him if they chose to.

At the trial the judge said that Norris' evidence was unreliable and that Norris was untruthful. Along with his partner Claire Parr, an accountant at his company, he had blatantly engaged in dishonest conduct to cover up the theft.

Judge Behrens agreed with the Crown that Norris had stolen $80,900 deposited into his bank account for the liquidation of an Auckland-based company, Astra Enterprises, and used the money for personal and business expenses.

It is Norris' second dishonesty conviction. He has a 1999 conviction for using a document for pecuniary advantage.

He also owned a Hamilton company that collapsed, leaving creditors more than $150,000 out of pocket.

While the recent court case focused on just one liquidation, Norris told the Nelson Mail last year that he expected other people would raise concerns about his liquidations following his conviction for theft.

Nelson MP Nick Smith said more than a dozen constituents had visited him to discuss their concerns about Norris over the past two to three years.

Using parliamentary privilege, Dr Smith raised his concerns about Norris.

He questioned how someone who had no formal qualifications, trained as an auto electrician and had a fraud conviction was able to charge himself out at $200 an hour.

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