Accused in a 'spin' over rip-off allegations

A Southland man accused of ripping off several people was in a "spin" when police fronted him about the accusations, a district court jury has heard.

Barry John Hansen, 50, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of obtaining by pecuniary deception and one of theft by a person in a special relationship. The amount he is alleged to have fraudulently obtained totals more than $300,000.

In the Invercargill district Court before Judge Michael Turner yesterday, Detective Constable Scott McConachie, of  Invercargill, who investigated the fraud and theft allegations, said he went to Hansen's West Plains home near Invercargill on October 25, 2012, to speak to him about several dishonesty complaints made against him.

After being given his bill of rights at the police station, Hansen said he was "in a spin" and would not be commenting at that time, Mr McConachie said.

Another witness, Rebecca Turnbull, said her ill father had given Hansen money to invest before his death in 2012, but Hansen had not paid back more than $60,000 of the money. Her father gave the money to Hansen so her father would be eligible to receive a Winz benefit, she said.

"He was told by Mr Hansen that he couldn't have more than $5000 in his bank account [to receive a WINZ benefit] and that Mr Hansen would invest the other money."

The Crown also alleges Hansen was paid $57,500 by a group of men after he agreed in 2009 to sell them a property he did not own.

Among the remaining charges, he is accused of paying a woman only $100,000 of her $386,000 life insurance payout after helping her secure the claim.

The Crown concluded its case late yesterday afternoon.

Hansen is representing himself, with Simon Claver acting as amicus curiae.

The Southland Times