A good judge tells a ratbag she can pay it back or spend Christmas in the slammer

A ratbag who stole money from a granny has been given a choice by Judge Tony Adeane, pay back what she stole or spend Christmas in the slammer:

She stole $1800 from a 91-year-old and wanted to pay her back at $2 a week while she spent $60 a week gambling.

But Judge Tony Adeane wasn’t having a bar of that.   

Ngaire Ries, also known as Ngaire Rowell, appeared in Napier District Court for sentencing on a charge of theft on Friday.

She had been found guilty after a judge alone trial.

On Friday the Judge sounded singularly non-plussed by submissions made by Ries had to probations officers.

He noted that Ries had initially pleaded guilty, then changed her plea to not guilty, then was convicted.

Reports before him said she had declined to participate in restorative justice sessions with her victim, had refused to consent to an electronically-monitored sentence and had advised the probation service she was not guilty.

“She spends something like $60 a week on gambling out of her limited means and she proposes to repay the amount taken by instalments of $2 a week,” the judge said.

That, unfortunately, was not acceptable, to the court he said.

He gave her two options. One was to complete an automatic payment authority from her benefit for $50 a week to the victim, in which case she would be convicted and ordered to come up for sentence if she reoffends in the next year.

The other option was being remanded in custody until the New Year while further reports were completed.

Ries spent a short time in custody before re-appearing and informing the court, through her lawyer, that she preferred the sound of the former option.

Surprise, surprise, given an ultimatum she chose liberty instead of prison.

“If there is any re-offending or in the event that the reparation is not duly paid Ms Rowell will come back to court and is liable to be imprisoned,” Judge Adeane said.

Ries’s offending was against an elderly woman who had been her friend for a very long time.

In November last year the friend gave Ries her bank card and asked her to deposit a cheque. Over the space of just over two hours Ries used the card to withdraw $1800 from the Westpac ATM at the Maraenui shopping centre in Napier.

What a piece of work. She picked entirely the wrong judge to pitch her $2 a week offer to.

Tony Adeane is a good judge who solves a lot of problems. I do hope that he is being cloned, we need more judges like him.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.