'Remorseful' accountant imprisoned for theft

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 05:00 29/07/2014

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Keeping his family in the lifestyle they had become accustomed to has landed Twizel man Peter Blacklaws in prison.

Blacklaws, 59, appeared in the Timaru District Court yesterday for sentence on seven charges of theft by a person in a special relationship. The amounts involved totalled $221,262.79.

The former accountant, member of the Masonic Lodge and a former PTA member at St Margarets College, Christchurch, Blacklaws had previously pleaded guilty to the charges.

He was sentenced by Judge Joanna Maze to 27 months' imprisonment.

Reparation was ordered for two of the lesser charges - $7225 and $4817.31.

Those funds were appropriated from a former client and by submitting false documents.

Blacklaws stole the funds out of his need to keep his family in the manner they had become accustomed to and he had lost face with the community and his family due to the offending, Judge Maze said.

Blacklaws, who was working in Christchurch at the time of the offending, appeared "extraordinarily remorseful" and his actions seemed to have stemmed from "need, not greed". He faced financial hardships, especially after the Christchurch earthquakes, and he could not be expected to pay the entire sum, she said.

"I will decline to order reparation because there is no prospect of it being paid."

The names of the victims and the firm he was working for at the time of the offending were suppressed.

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- The Timaru Herald

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