On-off 'marriage' cited in DPB fraud

Last updated 05:00 13/08/2014

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A 44-year-old Southland man has been ordered to pay back the thousands of dollars he took from the Government.

Timothy James Meers appeared for sentence before Judge Michael Turner in the Invercargill District Court yesterday after earlier admitting dishonestly using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage and wilfully omitting to tell an officer he was living in a marriage.

He was sentenced to two months' community detention, 100 hours' community work and ordered to pay $13,491 reparation.

The court was told Meers continued to receive a domestic purposes benefit and did not advise the ministry he was in a married relationship. Later, he falsely stated on a form he was not married.

In an interview, Meers acknowledged he was aware of his obligations but said he wanted to see how the relationship panned out, the court was told.

Meers' lawyer, Katy Barker, said it had been an on-off relationship and when they were off they had been living separately.

The benefit fraud was not at the high end of the scale and had continued for less than a year, she said.

Theft

Daniel Philip Diack, 22, dairy worker, of Winton, was sentenced to 50 hours' community work and ordered to pay $44 reparation for stealing 20 litres of petrol at Winton on July 17.

Alan Crosby, 45, concrete worker, was sentenced to five months and two weeks' home detention, ordered to pay $123 reparation and disqualified from driving for one year and six months for stealing three bottles of alcohol from Centrepoint Liquorland and driving with a breath alcohol level of 768mcg. He was convicted and discharged for driving while forbidden and sentenced to a further one month's home detention for remitted fines.

Assault

Angela-Lee Butler, 26, unemployed, was sentenced to 60 hours' community work for assaulting and resisting police at Riverton on August 10. She was convicted and discharged for behaving in a disorderly manner.

Paul Martin Dobias, 47, of Riverton, was sentenced to nine months' jail for assault with intent to injure and assault using a beer stubbie as a weapon on April 15 last year. The court was told Dobias threw beer bottles at a man, punched him and tried to drag him by the neck from his car during a "road rage incident". Dobias told police he pursued the driver because his lights were on full-beam and because of his manner of driving. Turner described Dobias's offending as unprovoked, gratuitous violence.

Driving

Shannon Richard Henderson, 20, was sentenced to five months' home detention for driving while disqualified on December 2. He was also sentenced to 200 hours' community work instead of disqualification and a further 60 hours' community work for remitted fines.

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Drink-driving

Jordan Karl Nelson, 22, unemployed, was fined $450 and disqualified for six months for driving with a blood alcohol level of 90mg on June 29.

Kayne Michael Pottinger-Linn, 23, sawmiller, 103mg at Winton on July 13. Fined $510 and disqualified for six months.

- The Southland Times

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