9 Oct 2015

Charity fraudster a no show at second hearing

5:09 pm on 9 October 2015

A judge says she's alarmed a fraudster wants to continually delay her sentencing and has called on police to verify reports and letters from mental health providers.

Today, the 24-year-old woman was to be sentenced in the Auckland District Court on five counts of obtaining by deception but for the second time, the sentencing was delayed.

Judge Claire Ryan said she already had a mental health report on file from an expert and now she had a letter asking for more time to update the report.

The judge said she did not want to keep adjourning the sentencing because that was not in the interests of the woman or her victims.

She also asked police to verify the letters and reports on file were from the medical experts they were purported to be from.

Judge Ryan said the case had a history that went back to January last year.

The woman's lawyer Alex Steadman said in that time his client had become pregnant and about three weeks ago gave birth by caesarian section.

But Judge Ryan said the time had come for the woman to be sentenced and the matter was not going to go away.

She said the woman was just prolonging the agony.

Judge Ryan said if she had to go to the woman's bedside to announce the sentence, she would.

She set a new sentencing date for December and said if the woman was not in court, she would issue an arrest warrant.

According to the police summary of facts, the woman tricked her own friends and family.

In January 2014 she told friends and family she had lymphatic leukaemia and bowel cancer and only had six to nine months to live.

A webpage was set up on Give a Little - a site where people ask for money for their causes to raise funds.

Over the next eight months family, friends and strangers donated money, goods, services, time and support.

About 200 people got involved.

The woman managed to raise over $13,600.

Another website, called the Angel Project ran a raffle and sold donated items on Trade Me, raising almost $700.

Harvey Norman provided the woman with a washing machine and a dryer, watch, microwave and other appliances - they had a combined worth over $4400.

She is due to be sentenced in December.