Lombard Four confirm Supreme Court bid

Sir Douglas Graham

As exclusively reported by NBR ONLINE last week, convicted former Lombard directors Sir Douglas Graham, Lawrie Bryant, Bill Jeffries and Michael Reeves want the Supreme Court to clear their names.

The four – who have always proclaimed their innocence – were convicted last year for misleading investors.

In a statement today on behalf of the four, Queen’s counsel Jim Farmer says they have decided to apply to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal dismissing their appeals against convictions under section 58 of the Securities Act and allowing the Solicitor-General’s appeals against sentence.

Mr Farmer says the decision has been taken after what he says was a full consideration of the judgment, including the receipt of legal advice.

Having condemned the High Court’s non-custodial penalties as manifestly inadequate, last week’s detailed Court of Appeal judgment directed updated reports be provided to the court to confirm the abvailability of suitable addresses for home detention in combination with sentences of community work.

The Court of Appeal said sentencing judge Justice Robert Dobson did not give sufficient weight to the sentencing purposes of accountability, denunciation and general deterrence “nor the serious consequences to those who invested in reliance on the truth of the statements in the amended prospectus”.

Mr Farmer says the application for leave will be filed as soon as the Court of Appeal has given a final judgment on the Solicitor-General’s appeals.

A memorandum relating to the Court of Appeal judgment was filed with the court last Wednesday.

While a senior court official would not confirm what was in the memorandum, it is understood to have sought a stay of any custodial sentence until the Supreme Court has considered the latest appeal bid.

janderson@nbr.co.nz

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