Name of bank in theft case sup­pressed

Mir­ror’s ques­tions de­clined

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By JOHN EDENS

A ma­jor bank has re­fused to say whether in­ter­nal pro­ce­dures were re­viewed af­ter a for­mer Queen­stown em­ployee was sent to jail for steal­ing $400,000.

Jenna Lee Robin­son, 29, ap­peared be­fore Judge Michael Turner in Queen­stown District Court last month for di­rectly ac­cess­ing a com­puter bank sys­tem to set up 16 fic­ti­tious ac­counts with loan and over­draft fa­cil­i­ties, and five counts of theft on dates be­tween Au­gust 2010 and July last year.

Robin­son, who was sen­tenced to two years and seven months in jail, worked at the bank for six years and rapidly pro­gressed up the ca­reer lad­der to the po­si­tion of busi­ness bank­ing re­la­tion­ship man­ager.

Judge Turner sup­pressed re­port­ing of the bank’s iden­tity and another fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion in Queen­stown. Robin­son left her job af­ter be­ing head­hunted and poached by another bank. She used the money to buy a house and pay for hol­i­days, re­pay credit card debt and buy home fur­nish­ings.

The Mir­ror asked: whether the bank in­tro­duced any new pro­ce­dures given the scale and length of the of­fend­ing; whether any checks and bal­ances were in­tro­duced; whether the bank was con­fi­dent sim­i­lar of­fend­ing could not hap­pen again; and whether staff were of­fered coun­selling and de­tails of the over­all loss in terms of pro­duc­tiv­ity.

How­ever, a bank cor­po­rate af­fairs spokesman said the in­sti­tu­tion was un­able to re­spond to ques­tions.

‘‘I’m sorry but given that the judge has sup­pressed iden­tity in this case, it would not be ap­pro­pri­ate for us to com­ment.’’

The court was told Robin­son’s col­leagues were ‘‘sick­ened’’ and ‘‘stunned’’ when the of­fend­ing was un­cov­ered.

The judge re­ferred to sen­tenc­ing re­ports that noted the de­fen­dant was ‘‘liv­ing the dream’’ in Queen­stown, hap­pily mar­ried with a house and well-paid job.

’’One con­se­quence was to cast a shadow on the whole bank­ing team of the [vic­tim] bank in this area.

‘‘Your col­leagues felt guilty be­cause they did not see what was hap­pen­ing and were an­gry be­cause you lied to them and ma­nip­u­lated them.

‘‘They felt as if they were un­will­ing ac­com­plices in your of­fend­ing.

‘‘There was an enor­mous breach of the trust you held in a re­spon­si­ble po­si­tion.’’

Her lawyer Nic Soper said a foren­sic psy­chol­o­gist’s re­port iden­ti­fied it was likely that Robin­son was suf­fer­ing from schizoid per­son­al­ity dis­or­der but she fully ac­cepted her re­spon­si­bil­ity and cul­pa­bil­ity.

Robin­son was a gifted stu­dent and a highly re­garded em­ployee with ca­reer prospects.

She was poached by another fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion in Queen­stown and af­ter the job change her of­fend­ing was dis­cov­ered by in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Vic­tim files for right to be named

The vic­tim of an in­de­cent act that is at the cen­tre of a heavy le­gal bat­tle to name a well-known Cen­tral Otago man wants the right to be named.

Af­ter a string of ap­pear­ances, ‘‘Mr X’’ was granted a dis­charge with­out con­vic­tion on an in­de­cency charge and fi­nal name sup­pres­sion in the Dunedin District Court ear­lier this year.

In the Queen­stown District Court, Judge Michael Turner heard the lat­est devel­op­ment in the case in cham­bers and sup­pressed the en­tire hear­ing.

An ap­pli­ca­tion has been filed by the Cen­tral Otago woman to lift her au­to­matic name sup­pres­sion – granted by law to all vic­tims of sex­ual of­fend­ing – and that the de­fen­dant in the pre­vi­ous pro­ceed­ings op­poses the move.

The man’s iden­tity has been re­vealed by an over­seas blog­ger, who posted pho­to­graphs and in­for­ma­tion about the case while for­mer Act leader Rod­ney Hide has called on Na­tional MP Mag­gie Barry to use par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege to name the man.

Labour leader David Cun­liffe also met ‘‘Mr X’’ re­cently but has said if he had known about the case no such meet­ing would have hap­pened.

The woman’s case and oth­ers have sparked wide­spread de­bate in New Zealand about sex­ual of­fend­ing and sup­pres­sion.

The man, who is in his 60s, pleaded guilty to a charge of do­ing an in­de­cent act with in­tent to in­sult or of­fend when he ap­peared in the Dunedin District Court in March.

Judge David Saun­ders granted an ap­pli­ca­tion for a dis­charge with­out con­vic­tion and fi­nal name sup­pres­sion.

Court doc­u­ments say the vic­tim was about to leave the house to go shop­ping but in­vited the man in for a cup of tea and her daugh­ter left the house to get the mail.

While they were in the kitchen he ap­proached her and tried to kiss her and touch her on her cloth­ing be­fore putting her hand on his groin. She re­jected the ad­vances.

Divers called in to search lake

Po­lice na­tional dive squad mem­bers ar­rived in Cen­tral Otago yes­ter­day to search for miss­ing Clyde man Mark Nay­lor.

Search and res­cuers con­ducted a ground and lake search at the Blue Lake in St Bathans on Mon­day. Nay­lor has been miss­ing since Satur­day. Vic­tim Sup­port is work­ing with the fam­ily.

Se­nior Sergeant Ian Ker­risk, of Alexan­dra, said cloth­ing be­lieved to be Nay­lor’s had been lo­cated at the lake close to where his ve­hi­cle was found.

Mem­bers of the Na­tional Po­lice Dive Squad flew down from Welling­ton, he said.

‘‘While we con­tinue to hope that we find Mr Nay­lor alive, as time passes that hope is fad­ing and we now hold grave con­cerns for his well­be­ing. We are work­ing closely with his fam­ily and our pri­or­ity is to find him and bring him back to them. We have to look at all our op­tions and util­is­ing the skills of the dive squad is another part of our search process.’’

Nay­lor’s ve­hi­cle, a blue and grey Isuzu Bighorn, ap­peared to have been at the lake since Satur­day evening, po­lice said.

The Clyde man, 32, was last seen at home on Satur­day about 5pm. He was wear­ing a blue Swan­dri jersey. He is 178cm tall, of stocky build with a beard.

Sat­nav nicked

A ‘Nav­man’ sat­nav was stolen from a parked car at the base of the Sky­line gon­dola. Po­lice said the theft was re­ported at 10.30am on Mon­day and in­quiries

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