30 Mar 2010

Home detention for promotor of failed airshow

9:06 pm on 30 March 2010

The promoter of a failed air show in Waikato has been sentenced to home detention and community service.

Kenneth Ross, 62, appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday.

He was sentenced to nine months' home detention and 200 hours of community service on five fraud charges and five charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act.

The Wings and Wheels over Waikato Show, planned for March 2008, was cancelled at the last minute.

Ticket holders were eventually refunded, but sponsors and exhibitors lost $350,000.

In sentencing, Judge Robert Spear said he was satisfied that while Ross did not set out to fleece the public, the concept was doomed from the start.

"The proposal was an excellent one, but because you were not able or willing to support yourself with a team capable of dealing with a level of specialised event planning matters. You simply got totally out of your depth."

He said Ross would have gone to prison if there had been any suggestion of a plan to deceive right from the start.