Pilot convicted of pounamu theft could lose farm

The former Haast helicopter pilot convicted in 2008 of stealing large quantities of pounamu has been given one last chance to pay court-ordered reparation to Ngai Tahu or risk losing his farm.

The Courts and Criminal Matters Act, which came into force earlier this year, allows applications to the High Court to force asset sales to recoup court imposed fines and reparations.

David Saxton and his son Morgan, who later died in a helicopter crash, were convicted of stealing the pounamu and ordered to pay $300,000 in reparation.

Ministry of Justice general manager collections Bryre Patchell said that David Saxton was liable for the full amount of reparation. It had not been paid, and the court had made a final request to pay, he said.

"If Mr Saxton does not respond to this request the court will progress with an application to the High Court for the sale of Mr Saxton's farm."

- By Laura Mills of the Greymouth Star

double dipping

When these two men were convicted the allegedly stolen green stone was returned to Ngai Tahu.

Doesn't this seem like Ngai Tahu or the crown have double dipped, they received the stone what exactly are they receiving reparation for? After all I cannot recall any other thieves who return stolen goods also being stung with reparation, a fine usually if the goods are no longer usable.

[Abridged]

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