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Lawyer sentenced to six months' home detention
07 April 2017
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A New Zealand court has sentenced a lawyer to six months' home detention for stealing almost NZ$80,000 from clients.

Lawyer David John Porteous pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court to several charges of theft during his time at eponymous firm DJ Porteous Lawyers.

In one of the matters, Porteous had been a lawyer to Neville and Morag Lush. The couple had placed thousands of dollars with Porteous' firm to be held in a family trust. However the lawyer swindled NZ$49,200 from the account. Neville Lush discovered the theft when he tried to withdraw money from the trust for heart surgery, only to be told by a secretary at the firm that there was nothing in the account. Speaking outside the court after the trial, Lush said that what made it worse was that he had known Porteous for 30 years and considered him a friend. The two had played bowls together regularly.

  Porteous always won when he was in charge of the scoring
 

The Napier District Court sentenced Porteous to six months' home detention, 250 hours of community work and ordered that he pay NZ$25,000 reparation costs to the New Zealand Law Society.  The presiding judge said that it was a "sad case" since Porteous "stands in the state of his life as a shamed lawyer not able to practise now having lost his reputation, his friendships and all his material assets".

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