Andrea De La Hunt, aka Phipps, aka Wilson. Photo / APN
One of New Zealand's most notorious female fraudsters has
lost an appeal against her jail term for working as a
prostitute while on home detention.
Andrea De La Hunt, aka Phipps, aka Wilson, has a long
criminal history, including a jail term for attempting to
murder an ex-partner.
She has now racked up more than 130 convictions for
dishonesty dating back to 2001.
The 41-year-old was sentenced to 12 months' home detention in
November 2011 for a series of fraud offences, which saw her
steal more than $35,000 from friends, neighbours, employers,
De La Hunt, once described by a judge as being "addicted to
money", posed as her mother-in-law in 2009 to secure a loan
she used to splash out on a $30,000 Dorado powerboat, and on
another occasion to buy a new $16,000 Holden Commodore.
About halfway through her sentence, she lied to her probation
officer, saying she was working as a beautician for a
Christchurch cosmetics company.
But in reality she had forged emails purporting to be from
her beautician boss to satisfy her probation officer, when
she was actually working as a prostitute.
She disguised her home detention electronic-monitoring
bracelet as jewellery, a court previously heard.
De La Hunt pleaded guilty to a breach of home detention
conditions and to four charges of dishonestly accessing a
computer system by emailing false details to the probation
officer, and was sentenced to two years and six months in
She was later sentenced to 14 months prison on a forgery
charge, to be served cumulatively.
But then she appealed against her sentence at the High Court
in Christchurch. She argued that the district court judge
failed to treat her bipolar disorder as a mitigating factor
De La Hunt also claimed that she should've got a bigger
discount off her sentence for the level of compliance with
her sentence of home detention; the fact she had "worked
well"; and that the owners of the premises being used as a
brothel knew about the nature of her work.
But in a judgement released to APNZ, Justice David Gendall
dismissed the appeal.
He said there was no evidence before the court that suggested
her most recent offending was caused in any part by her
"The notion too that she 'worked well' must be called into
question here, given the fact that immediately she was
granted leave to work as a beautician, she embarked upon her
no doubt previously planned activity as an escort/prostitute.
This ground also does not assist the appellant here," the
Justice Gendall concluded that the end sentences are "within
range and not manifestly excessive".
Sour taste saved victim
In 2002, when she working as a personal banker in Auckland,
Andrea Phipps was convicted for trying to kill her partner,
While trying to avoid detection from bank bosses after
stealing $52,000 from her cousin's account, and forging
documents to try to draw $165,000 from another customer, she
laced her partner's dinner with 16 sleeping tablets.
The tablets left a sour taste and Mr French left it
She later put lavender oil on his pillow to help him sleep
then poured petrol through their North Shore home. The blaze
caused extensive damage but nobody was hurt.
She was jailed for attempted murder, theft as a servant,
forgery, and arson but the sentence was reduced to
two-and-a-half years after the Court of Appeal ruled the
sentencing judge had not made sufficient allowance for her