Mother avoids con­vic­tion for stolen cheque

Kapi-Mana News - - COURT REPORT -

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.

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