LATEST: A New Plymouth jury has today taken less than an hour to find a Waitara woman guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Nardine Corrie Wainui Innes, in her 30s, has now been remanded on bail for a pre-sentence report prior to sentencing on May 6.
Innes was charged after she went to Jesse-Lee Adele Skinner's Waitara home on May 22 last year and forced her to write a letter to the judge retracting her complaint that Rowan Pratt, Innes' former partner, had stolen her car. Innes denied the charge.
The Crown prosecutor Andrew Britton told the jury that Ms Skinner and Pratt had both been at a party in Bell Block in May last year.
Ms Skinner had been drinking and went to sleep at the party.
Pratt took her car keys and drove Ms Skinner's car to her Waitara home. He burgled her home, stealing property including her lap-top and speakers.
He drove around Waitara and New Plymouth and about 6.30am the next day did a petrol drive off from the BP service station in Powderham St in New Plymouth after filling up with $40 of fuel.
Pratt eventually texted her where she could find her abandoned car in Waitara - after he stole the car's stereo.
When Ms Skinner woke at the party and found her car gone, she went home to discover the burglary. Police eventually arrested Pratt.
On May 29 Pratt pleaded guilty to all charges.
He was jailed for 18 months and sent to Whanganui Prison.
Ms Skinner gave evidence yesterday telling the jury she was intoxicated at the party and allowed Pratt to take her car but only for an hour.
When it wasn't returned when she texted him, she complained to police that he had unlawfully taken her car and burgled her home.
On May 22 Innes arrived at Ms Skinner's home.
"She had a grumpy look on her face. She said I had to drop the charges."
Innes told her to write a letter to the judge saying Pratt had permission to take her car on the night.
If Ms Skinner did not write the letter, "stuff" would happen to Ms Skinner's grandad in jail, Innes had told her.
Innes also told Ms Skinner Pratt's "friends would come after me", Ms Skinner said.
Ms Skinner immediately rang police to tell them what happened, fearful someone might come back.
Lawyer for Innes, Barry Henderson, said his client denied she put pressure on Ms Skinner.
Innes merely passed on Pratt's message for Ms Skinner to write a statement for the judge.
In a videoed interview played to the court, Innes denied she had threatened Ms Skinner or her grandfather, and said she knew nothing of him being in jail.
Ms Skinner had willingly written the letter, Innes said.
- Taranaki Daily News
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