Home detention for convicted Lombard Four

Home detention sentences for the Lombard Four are on hold pending their application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeal has just released its full judgment of its dismissal of appeals against conviction and sentence by the Lombard Four – ex-justice minister and chairman Sir Douglas Graham, Bill Jeffries, Lawrie Bryant and Michael Reeves – for giving misleading information about the state of Lombard's loan book just before the company collapsed.

Having ruled the initial sentences were "manifestly inadequate" when they dismissed the four's appeal in May, Justices Tony Randerson, Christine French and John Wild have substituted the businessmen’s penalties of community sentence with home detention.

"In our interim judgment, we concluded that prison sentences should have been adopted as a starting point and that the discounts allowed by the sentencing judge were excessive," the judgest said. "We said that the appropriate final sentences should have been a combination of home detention and community work."

Home detention sentences

Sir Douglas Graham is sentenced to six months' home detention and 200 hours of community work.

Bill Jeffries was given eight months' home detention and 250 hours' community work.

Lawrie Bryant is sentenced to six months' home detention.

Michael Reeves is sentenced to nine months' home detention and 250 hours' community work.

The orders for reparation against Douglas Graham and Bryant of $100,000 remain.

“We are satisfied there is no impediment to any of the respondents completing a sentence of home detention combined with community work with the exception of Mr Bryant whose health has deteriorated since the sentences were imposed in the High Court," the judges said. 

"We are satisfied his health would preclude him from effectively completing a sentence of community work. However, it is not suggested that his health condition would prevent him from serving a sentence of home detention.” 

Sir Douglas’ requirement for daily exercise outside the home can be accommodated with the agreement of the probation officer.

The officer also has power to authorise Jeffries and Reeves to leave their homes for part of each day for employment reasons.

The penalties, which would normally start two weeks after the judgment is issued, have been put on hold to allow for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Queen’s counsel for the men, Jim Farmer, released a statement this morning, saying they have immediately filed with the Supreme Court an application for leave to appeal both the Court of Appeal’s decision dismissing their appeal against conviction and the decision allowing the Crown’s cross-appeal against their non-cutodial sentence, imposing home detention and related penalties in lieu of community service directed by trial judge Justice Robert Dobson

The next step in the Supreme Court process will see the men file written submissions in support of their application for leave, the Crown will respond and the Supreme Court will then come to a decision on the application. 

“Normally, such a process might take about two months to complete. If leave is granted, the Supreme Court would then appoint a fixture for the hearing of the appeals,” Mr Farmer says.

The Lombard Four will not be commenting on the matter while it is before the Supreme Court.

Lombard Finance & Investments – run by a clutch of celebrity directors – collapsed in 2007 owing $127 million to 4400 investors. It was placed in receivership in 2008 owing $111 million to 3600 investors.

Sir Douglas Arthur Montrose Graham is also a former National government Treaty of Waitangi negotiations minister, director Lawrence (Lawrie) Roland Valpy Bryant was an assistant press officer to the Queen from 1970-74, and director William (Bill) Patrick Jeffries, a Wellington barrister, is a former Labour justice and transport minister.

Along with fellow accused Lombard chief executive Michael Reeves, they were convicted, given non-custodial sentences and ordered to pay six-figure reparation.

Formal steps are understood to be under way to strip Sir Douglas of his knighthood in the wake of the Appeal Court's ruling.

gbond@nbr.co.nz

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18 Comments & Questions

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there are any other prominent people who may have signed similar documents while working in positions of trust.
Can we ask John Banks if he knows of such a person?

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Looking more likely they will be forced to serve a holiday at home.

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Your comment edited because you accused them of a crime they were not charged with.

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That's right, hard labour on the couch. Well done Court of the Couch, I mean Appeal, for imposing a much harsher sentence than the High Court.

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Fairs fair

They are the token ones charged for all the others let off

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200 hours community services, as in PD? Or can they choose where these hours are spend? I'm sure the Remuera golf course has some divots that require to be trampled back into the ground, heaven forbid they are forced to mingle with ... Gasp ... criminals on a Saturday morning.

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Impossible to believe that there are those out there who believe that little harm has been done by the Lombard 4 to deserve a proper jail sentence!

Decades of savings, in many cases hard earned through sweat and toil, have been wiped out by the callous and irresponsible actions of these directors who pocketed thousands in fees and benefits. In many cases, impossible for the savers to build up their savings again.

Let's hope the Supreme Court jail these individuals.

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Typical comment from someone who clearly has no idea how to manage their own money, nor who has even read the decision of the High Court.

This sort of attitude demonstrates nothing by ignorance and a bitterness in New Zealand that will continue to stop New Zealand reaching its full potential.

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They were exposed and are down, there really was no need to stick the boot in. What good will it achieve?

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Tell that to those whose lives were ruined.

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Because people such as these need a deterrent. Sadly, home D is no deterrent.

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Deterrence......

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Why just focus on Sir Douglas losing his knighthood? Mr Jeffries still holds the title "The Honourable" (could it be more inappropriate when he refused to provide any monies for reparation and said he did not agree with that?) and it was he who was (with Hugh Templeton) associated with Mr Reeves for years. Sir Douglas stumbled into Lombard later. Mr Jeffries also remained as a Lombard (later Insured Group) director...where does the Law Society stand on his role in Lombard?

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Would be good if you took the time to bother reading the findings in both courts, but I suppose Ignorance is bliss...

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Good that the Appeal Court recognised the original sentences as "manifestly inadequate" and imposed one that was "hopelessly inadequate".

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I find the arrogance of these four simply breathtaking. They have been slapped on the wrist with a wet bus ticket and still they feel hard done by. Surely there should be some additional penalties (in the form of compensation for investors who lost millions) for this very evident lack of remorse and failure to recognise the terrible damage done from their actions?

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As the four have been found to have acted honestly by both courts company directors have much to be concerned about.

What value can now be placed on so-called professional advice? The Lombard advisers read like the who's who of lawyers, accountants, etc.

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Exactly.
Some would say their sentence was to act as a "deterrent"? To deter what? Deter people from putting themselves forward as directors? Remember, "the four have been found to have acted honestly by both courts".
Then there are others that believe home detention will some how put right " those whose lives were ruined".
*Sigh* I fear NZ First isn't going to run out of voters any time soon.

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