Company doesn’t accept thief’s remorse

The company that was the victim of Katrina Leigh Leoni’s thefts had difficulty accepting that her last minute reparation arrangements showed her remorse.

Forty-two-year-old Leoni produced a $100,000 bank cheque which was handed to company representatives minutes before her Christchurch District Court sentencing was due to go ahead.

Crown prosecutor Karyn South said the company had difficulty accepting that after the two years since the offending came to light, the reparation offer had only been made minutes before sentencing.

She said that the company did not see why the remaining $33,000 of reparation could not be paid straight away when Leoni still owned a horse truck worth $70,000.

Defence counsel Anselm Williams said: “Steps are being taken in that respect, but they aren’t able to be taken immediately.”

Judge David Saunders set October 2 as the deadline for the remaining money to be paid to the concrete company involved in the Christchurch rebuild.

Leoni pleaded guilty this year to three representative charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, from when she was employed as a receptionist and office administrator at the firm from 2012 to 2015.

He said that Leoni had no previous convictions, but there had been a pre-trial application by the Crown to admit evidence about her actions when she had previously been employed handling money.

There was comment in the rebuild firm’s victim impact statement that staff had seen her “flaunting what she had achieved”, and she had shown little remorse even after she was caught.

She had initially tried to shift the blame, but had eventually accepted responsibility.

Judge Saunders sentenced her to 11 months of home detention, and 200 hours of community work so that she could “put something back into the community”.

He imposed special conditions with an order that Leoni is to undertake assessment, counselling, and treatment as directed, and is not to take undertake employment or voluntary work involving handling money or accounting systems without permission.

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