Failed business up in smoke
A Hungarian national who planned to profit from his failing Queenstown business by burning it down and claiming insurance has been sentenced to two years and nine months’ jail. Borisz Egri was found guilty at a jury trial in Invercargill in September on charges of arson of his Balaton Crepes mobile kitchen and dishonestly trying to claim insurance off NZI. The 33-year-old’s premeditated planning and offending was outlined by Judge Kevin Phillips during sentencing in Invercargill last week. The judge said Egri’s residency application was declined in mid-2011 as a result of his business being a failure. Egri tried to sell it but got no offers. So he started planning to get out of his financial difficulties, the judge said. Egri drafted a letter from a fictitious person detailing how she would buy the mobile kitchen for $60,000. He sent the fictitious letter to his former partner who had left New Zealand. The next day he renewed his insurance policy with NZI, the judge said. His former girlfriend sent the fictitious letter to Egri’s real estate agent, who began trying to sell the business, the judge said. Two days later Egri went to his caravan at 11pm and poured diesel and kerosene on the floor and set it alight. The caravan was extensively damaged. Egri then lodged an insurance claim with NZI, the judge said.
P dealer sentenced
A Queenstown methamphetamine dealer has been sentenced to 10 months’ home detention and 300 hours’ community work and fined $5000. Adam Paul Bamford, 33, was sentenced in the Invercargill District Court after admitting two charges of possessing methamphetamine, also known as P, for supply, and one charge of possessing cocaine. Judge Kevin Phillips said Bamford was caught by police in an investigation called Operation Moses. The offending involved Bamford receiving methamphetamine packages from a co-accused and depositing thousands of dollars into the bank account of the coaccused. Bamford and his girlfriend at the time were both using methamphetamine, Judge Phillips said. ‘‘About half would have been for your own use and about half . . . supplied to others.’’ Bamford’s co-accused had received a jail sentence, he said. One reason Bamford avoided jail was, had the case gone to trial, the Crown would have to rely on his co-accused, and he was a hostile witness, the judge said. Bamford pleaded guilty after receiving a sentencing indication. Methamphetamine was one of the most malicious drugs affecting young people and was behind some of the most horrendous crimes in New Zealand, Judge Phillips said. ‘‘But you were quite prepared to be involved in the industry and in its distribution.’’
Devil’s Staircase smash
A 65-year-old Kingston man is facing a dangerous driving charge after a manoeuvre on State Highway 6 on Saturday, police say.