Russell has come a long way

Russell Fairbrother has come such a long way since being booted from office:

A senior AUT employee who stole more than $665,000 from his employer frittered it away on a lavish lifestyle including a luxury car, holidays, wine and food.

Jonathan Kirkpatrick was today sentenced at the Auckland District Court to three years and two months in prison.

The 53-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to seven charges including false accounting and using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage.

Kirkpatrick, who had been in charge of the day-to-day running of AUT’s Business Innovation Centre, wrote 82 invoices made out to companies he owned for work that was never done.

The offending began in 2002 and continued until he was discovered in July this year.

Judge Alison Sinclair said the money was “frittered away” on a car and holidays, as well as wine and food in the restaurant Kirkpatrick owned.

She said the eventual cost to AUT and its insurer, which investigated the fraud, was more than $1 million.

“You have nothing to show for all the money you took from AUT and I’m reminded you also continued to draw a salary.”

When Kirkpatrick started at AUT, he was on an annual income of $90,000.

He was on $150,000 a year when, in July this year, he went to Thailand on a holiday and was found out.

Defending the former partner of ex-Labour MP Tim Barnett. I note that?the?offending would have been during the time of his relationship with Tim Barnett.