Mother avoids conviction for stolen cheque
A Titahi Bay mother-of-two who tried to cash a stolen cheque was let off last week because a conviction would harm her employment prospects and therefore her children’s futures.
Kitana Matapelu, 26, of Titahi Bay, tried to cash a cheque for $870 on May 13. She had been given the cash cheque on May 11 in return for unspecified work.
Staff at BNZ Porirua refused to cash the cheque because it had ‘‘Not Transferable’’ written on it.
Matapelu went outside, crossed the words out and returned to the bank.
Bank tellers then noticed the cheque’s signature did not match that of the chequebook holder or the signature on Matapelu’s driver’s licence.
Police were called, but Matapelu left the bank before they arrived, leaving her driver’s licence behind.
Matapelu gained nothing from the incident – in fact, she lost money owed to her for work, her lawyer Sonia Thistoll said at Porirua District Court last Thursday.
Matapelu was looking for work in hospitality or cleaning and a conviction would harm chances, Ms Thistoll said.
‘‘It is about employment and a future for her children.’’
Judge Ian Mill said Matapelu’s actions seemed to be an opportunistic attempt to obtain money. He discharged her without conviction.
‘‘The consequences would be out of proportion with the seriousness of the offending,’’ he said.