Bid to escape conviction

17:00, May 30 2014

Attempts by an international student to escape conviction failed in the New Plymouth District Court this week.

Bhavana Selvam Pillai appeared before Judge Max Courtney on Thursday on one charge of using a document and five shoplifting charges related to offending between December last year and March this year. She pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance.

Lawyer Julian Hannam asked the judge to discharge his client without conviction due to the impact they would have on future visa applications and international travel. Most of Pillai's offending involved shoplifting from The Warehouse.

Judge Courtney said although he took into account the defendant's age - 17 - lack of previous convictions and her early guilty pleas, the degree of premeditation and the fact she reoffended while on bail was of concern. She was convicted and ordered to pay $468.81 reparation, but no other penalty was imposed.

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