Family supporting man who stole from an elderly relative

A man who progressively stripped $18,000 from an elderly relative’s savings used it to buy methamphetamine. He now hoped to repay his debt by cashing in his Kiwisaver fund, Gisborne District Court was told.

Tuteranui Te Pairi Mihinui, 35, pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a document and was sentenced to four-and-a-half months home detention with six months standard and special release conditions.

He was ordered to pay reparation for the full amount he stole.

Counsell Elliot Lynch said Mihinui had $10,000 in his Kiwisaver account and with a court order for reparation, could apply to draw it down on the grounds of financial hardship.

The judge said Mihinui was a “living example” of how low a person with a methamphetamine addiction could stoop.

The 74-year-old who Mihinui stole the money from was admitted to hospital for about a month in the middle of last year.

During that time, Mihinui was asked by his mother to go to the man’s house to get some important documents. While there, Mihinui found the man’s bank card and pin number and progressively stripped his account of $18,000.

“You were hooked on crack and the temptation overcame you,” the judge said.

Counsel Elliot Lynch said to Mihinui’s credit, he went to police and confessed before the victim found out about the offending.

A restorative justice conference between the pair was beneficial.

Mihinui had abstained from methamphetamine use in recent months following his release from custody on bail.

He was going to counselling and was a good candidate for home detention, the rehabilitative scope of which was more than a prison sentence could provide.

The victim and others in Mihinui’s whanau still supported, loved, and trusted him. In that sense, Mihinui was a fortunate man, the judge said.

A man who progressively stripped $18,000 from an elderly relative’s savings used it to buy methamphetamine. He now hoped to repay his debt by cashing in his Kiwisaver fund, Gisborne District Court was told.

Tuteranui Te Pairi Mihinui, 35, pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a document and was sentenced to four-and-a-half months home detention with six months standard and special release conditions.

He was ordered to pay reparation for the full amount he stole.

Counsell Elliot Lynch said Mihinui had $10,000 in his Kiwisaver account and with a court order for reparation, could apply to draw it down on the grounds of financial hardship.

The judge said Mihinui was a “living example” of how low a person with a methamphetamine addiction could stoop.

The 74-year-old who Mihinui stole the money from was admitted to hospital for about a month in the middle of last year.

During that time, Mihinui was asked by his mother to go to the man’s house to get some important documents. While there, Mihinui found the man’s bank card and pin number and progressively stripped his account of $18,000.

“You were hooked on crack and the temptation overcame you,” the judge said.

Counsel Elliot Lynch said to Mihinui’s credit, he went to police and confessed before the victim found out about the offending.

A restorative justice conference between the pair was beneficial.

Mihinui had abstained from methamphetamine use in recent months following his release from custody on bail.

He was going to counselling and was a good candidate for home detention, the rehabilitative scope of which was more than a prison sentence could provide.

The victim and others in Mihinui’s whanau still supported, loved, and trusted him. In that sense, Mihinui was a fortunate man, the judge said.