The Dominion Post

‘Fantasist’ convicted of fraud

- HANK SCHOUTEN KAPI-MANA NEWS

A PORIRUA man described by acquaintan­ces as a fantasist has been convicted of using a stolen chequebook and stolen fire service uniform when trying to buy a car.

Christophe­r Michael Andrews, 55, was sentenced to 200 hours’ community work for dishonestl­y obtaining a vehicle, misusing a cheque and stealing a fire service uniform and pager.

On July 15, Andrews contacted a Whitby man who was selling his car for $6500, Judge Jan Kelly said. He arrived to view the car wearing a fire service uniform and picked up the car on July 25, paying with a cheque made out for $8000. He left the Plimmerton fire brigade more than a year ago.

The cheque was from a chequebook he stole from a rubbish sack at an open home in October 2011.

Judge Kelly sentenced Andrews in Porirua District Court last week to 200 hours’ community work for each charge, to be served concurrent­ly, and ordered him to pay $69 reparation to the complainan­t for petrol and transfer of registrati­on.

‘‘Although the sums involved are not significan­t, I consider your offending to be serious, in the efforts and lengths you went to to obtain the vehicle and to misuse the cheque,’’ Judge Kelly said.

In March last year, Andrews was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 90 hours’ community service for writing 10 cheques from the same stolen chequebook. Writing the cheques, which ranged from $480 to $86,000, gave him ‘‘a five-minute thrill’’, he told police.

He was also involved this year in a bogus housing scheme, signing worthless sales contracts amounting to millions of dollars.

In 2005, he was involved in what police described as ‘‘007 fantasy world’’ surveillan­ce of a man involved in a matrimonia­l dispute.

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