A man who took almost a quarter of a million dollars from friends in Hawke's Bay in an investment scam has escaped jail but been sentenced to the maximum possible terms of home detention and community work.
The sentence of 12 months' home detention and 400 hours' community work came after Peter Jonathon Rens, 73, was berated by Judge Geoff Rea in Napier District Court today.
Rens had denied the offences, claiming the loss of the money was not his fault, but in a four-day trial in December a jury found him guilty on 12 charges of theft in a special relationship, relating to offences in 2004 and 2005, mainly on people who were fellow members of the Hawke's Bay Gliding Club.
It stemmed from a discussion after a day's gliding, and sums invested rose from one person's initial outlay of $5000, to another's $105,000.
Over about 12 months $243,000 was subscribed, but investors never saw their money again, nor any returns.