Fraudster gets jail for trying to con a judge in NZ first

by Sol Dolor18 Jan 2017
A man who tried to con a district judge has been sentenced to prison for nearly two years in a one-of-a-kind case in New Zealand.

According to a report from The Otago Daily Times, Nicholas Birch stood up in the Alexandra District Court in March and said his boss had offered a job to convicted burglar Fletcher Dennis.

The boss Birch described as a “successful businessman, horse trainer and philanthropist” would even pay the convicted burglar’s fines and reparations, totalling $30,000, he told Judge Michael Crosbie.

Dennis’ sentence was reduced by six months on the strength of Birch’s claim. But the businessman, job offer and proposal to pay for Dennis’ fines and reparations were made up. It turns out that Birch and Dennis became friends in prison, where the latter offered the former a job which was also fictitious, according to a report from Stuff.
Judge Kevin Phillips of the Dunedin District Court said that this may be the first case of its kind in New Zealand.

“I can't find any authority where someone has bare-face-lied to a judge,” the judge is quoted saying by The Otago Daily Times. “There hasn't been someone such as you who had the temerity to stand in front of a sentencing judge and shamelessly lie and lie and lie.”

He said this scheme was not something Birch thought up on the day, and that the crime, which involved lying to a district judge, struck at the very heart of the judicial process.

Birch was sentenced to one year and 11 months in jail for making a false statement and three charges of driving while disqualified.

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