"Middle-man" fraudster jailed

It proved third time unlucky for a Hawera woman jailed for cheque fraud today.

Hinemanupo Pakaurangi, 24, appeared for sentence in the Hawera District Court on three charges of using a document, one of receiving, one for possession of cannabis and one of breaching community work.

She pleaded guilty to all the charges on February 19.

The fraud and receiving charges relate to a stolen cheque book and $17,000 car given to the defendant by an unknown associate following a burglary at a Hawera address.

On February 3, Pakaurangi managed to obtain $1750 from TSB Bank in Hawera and then drove to Eltham, where she cashed another cheque for $5750.

She then travelled to Auckland in the stolen car and stayed overnight before heading to Hamilton on February 4.

It was there where Pakaurangi was apprehended after a TSB Bank teller became suspicious of the defendant's attempt to cash a third cheque to the value of $7600.

Judge Allan Roberts said the defendant's claim that she did not know the property had been stolen was not accepted.

''It's nothing short of ludicrous,'' the judge said.

Duty solicitor Alice Leonard said Pakaurangi wanted help to address her mental health issues and sought a sentence of intensive supervision.

Leonard said her client did not benefit financially from the offending as the money had been passed back to the associate.

''She was really the middle man,'' she said.

Judge Roberts said Pakaurangi had already served six sentences of imprisonment and her criminal history included both dishonesty and violent offending.

The judge said the probation report indicated her offending risk had escalated and there had been past issues with her behaviour and compliance.

On the charges of using a document Pakaurangi was sentenced to 12 months jail.

She also received a nine month concurrent sentence for the receiving charge.

Special release conditions were also imposed.

She was convicted and discharged on the possession of cannabis charge and the community work sentence was cancelled.

Judge Roberts also disqualified Pakaurangi from driving for nine months as she had used a stolen car to carry out the offending.

Taranaki Daily News