Cheating Otago student sentenced


A student who stole nearly 100 exam papers from the University of Otago has been sentenced to a year of supervision, and ordered to pay thousands in reparations. 

The 24-year-old hid in a cupboard at the University's registry office last November, and waited for it to close. 

She then uplifted a steel bracket and used it to smash her way through the doors of three separate offices where she stole 97 exam papers including her own. 

The woman then threw the stolen scripts into the Otago Harbour. 

Earlier in the day she raised suspicions, after notes were found in a bathroom where she went three times during her exam.  

Her defence team argued for a discharge without conviction, but Judge David Sharp said her offending was far too serious not to be convicted. 

"I don't consider it minor because of the impact on the students and the University. Its examination process was undermined," Judge Sharp said.  

"The aggravating aspect (of the offending) was that people whose exam papers you stole were anxious, and spent a considerable amount of time preparing for exams."

Outside court University spokesman Andrew Ferguson said "We're very pleased with the result, and it'll finally give some closure to the staff and students involved."

The university allowed affected students to re-sit their exam or take a grade based on their performance throughout the year.

The woman was granted permanent name suppression as a result of medical material provided to the court. 

She was ordered to pay $6400 in reparations.