'Stressed' policeman admits theft

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 13:14 15/02/2013

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A Christchurch policeman has admitted stealing $2750 in cash that he received from people before ending prosecutions against them.

The man has now left the police force.

The 63-year-old has interim name suppression, which also prevents the exact nature of his work being reported.

He was due for jury trial in the Christchurch District Court starting on Monday but instead he has admitted one representative charge of theft by a person in a special relationship.

The charge lists 12 transactions in which he kept money that had been given to him by people and failed to deal with it "in accordance with the requirements of the commissioner of police".

At the request of defence counsel Pip Hall, Judge Brian Callaghan did not enter convictions because the defence wants to argue for a discharge without conviction.

Time has been set aside for that on the day of the man's sentencing on May 2.

No pre-sentence report has been ordered.

Hall said a report would not help the court.

"There are psychiatric and psychological reports on the file and I intend to update them," he said.

Hall said that if the discharge without conviction was not granted, it was likely that a community-based sentence would be imposed.

Crown prosecutor Kathy Bell requested that the names of the people from whom the former officer received money should also be suppressed, and the judge made that order.

The money was paid legitimately by these people but the officer did not provide a receipt and the money was not accounted for. Prosecutions were stopped after the money was paid.

When he was interviewed, the man said: "I was stressed at the time and the money, along with any missing files, would have gone into the rubbish bin."

He said he believed he had authority to drop the prosecutions.

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