Alleged Chch fraudster charged with 60 offences

  • 27/06/2016
Alleged Chch fraudster charged with 60 offences

A New Zealand man deported from Australia to face charges in his home country has denied indecently assaulting a girl as well as fraud amounting to more than half a million dollars.

Paul James Bennett has been charged with 60 offences since he was arrested on his arrival in Christchurch last month.

He appeared briefly in Christchurch District Court via video link today where he pleaded not guilty to all 48 dishonesty, indecency and drug charges as well as 12 civil aviation offences.

The dishonesty charges relate to offending across the country between 2007 and 2015, including that he ripped off a helicopter firm and stole a number of high value items including a $150,000 yacht.

The court heard today the alleged offending amounted to $567,000.

The sex and drug charges relate to allegations he indecently assaulted a teenage girl in Auckland in 2008 and supplied her with a class B drug.

The Civil Aviation Authority also alleges Bennett flew a helicopter between several New Zealand cities in March and April 2014 without a medical certificate or licence.

Bennett was deported to Christchurch after being arrested aboard a yacht near Sydney in February last year.

He has opted for a judge-only trial and will next appear in court for a case review hearing on September 5.

NZN