Name of bank in theft case suppressed
Mirror’s questions declined
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.
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