Former Wellington Tenths Trust chairman Sir Ngatata Love has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
His lawyer, Colin Carruthers QC immediately made an urgent application for Love to be released on bail while an appeal against the sentence is lodged.
Justice Graham Lang took a short adjournment after delivering the sentence to find out when the Court of Appeal may be able to hear the application. When he resumed he rejected the appeal.
The disgraced Maori leader, aged 79, was found guilty of obtaining property by deception on September 1, following a trial in the High Court in Wellington in August. The charge carried a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
This seems appropriate.
While he was entitled to a discount for his health, Justice Lang said the conditions could be managed in prison.
He granted Love an additional discount of nine months, giving a sentence of two years, six months in prison.
While Lang said it was in his power to grant Love an additional discount to take the sentence down to two years in prison, as an act of “mercy” he would not do so, as Love showed no remorse.
He read part of the victim impact statement from the Wellington Tenths Trust, which said the most important thing trustees and beneficiaries wanted was a full apology for what had happened, but Lang said he had seen no sign of this.
“I do not see any remorse for what has occurred,” Lang said, adding that during the trial he had seen no sign that Love had shown comprehension of his offending and its impact.
This is key. Love has not shown any remorse. He said he had done nothing wrong and blamed everyone else.