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You are not permitted to download, save or this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image. Simone Anne Wright, who also went by Simone Williams and Smith, denied making up stories of a terminally ill son being cared for at Auckland's Starship Hospital to sell motorbikes, a spa bath and other items worth thousands of dollars on Trade Me. A court heard how adverts surfaced on Trade Me back in for a Kawasaki motorcycle which said, "Our son has cancer and can no longer ride his pride and joy".
But after a judge-alone trial at Christchurch District Court last year, she was found guilty on all seven charges of obtaining by deception. In finding her guilty, Judge Paul Kellar said it "strains credibility to breaking point" that Wright did not know what was going on.
He called it "brazen, callous and cynical" offending and sentenced her to one year and five months with six months of post-release conditions and further special conditions. Now, Wright is appealing against her conviction, arguing crucial phone records that were available to her and her defence lawyer were "effectively overlooked" and could have helped prove her innocence. During the District Court trial, a duped buyer of a motorcycle on Trade Me said he'd tried to ring the seller and had spoken to a woman called "Susan".
When he was asked if it could've been a male posing as a female, wife photo trade victim laughed and said: "Not a chance". The trial judge concluded that "Susan" was actually Simone Wright and said the phone call was a key piece of evidence. Pointing to the phone records, Wright claims that the call she's alleged to have answered, was in fact a voic message. Crown prosecutor Jamie Eng today called Wright's appeal an "opportunistic reconstruction" of the facts, with Wright trying to find any errors during her trial when there were none.
In her evidence during the District Court trial, Wright told how her ex-husband — who she married in Sydney in - used to tell "spectacular" stories, once claiming he'd once been kidnapped at gunpoint in Hollywood star Russell Crowe's helicopter by an Australian criminal organisation. One "big story" was how he had lived in South Africa and worked for the CIA as a helicopter pilot and wife photo trade he'd been "a witness to all sorts of things".
When they met, Bennett allegedly told her to sell her house and car, and that she didn't need to work anymore. They snuck into New Zealand insailing across the Tasman Sea from Australia on a yacht and avoiding immigration officials. Wright claimed they did so because Bennett "feared for his life" and was running from the organised crime syndicate.
The court wife photo trade that in May they were living in Napier when Wright set up two Trade Me s and two bank s. On May 27,a used plug-in spa was listed for sale with its listing saying it was needed to "help pay family medical bills".
In an exchange of s around getting the spa delivered, the seller said they were at Starship Hospital with a son on life support. The buyer offered her best wishes but the spa was never received — and she never heard from the seller again. When the items didn't arrive, the buyer phoned and spoke with a male who said they were at Starship with a nephew who had brain cancer.
It was a good game," the witness said. Asked by defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger if the "woman" the witness spoke to on the phone could've been a man putting on a woman's voice, he laughed. Judge Kellar ruled that to be a key piece of evidence, finding the witness to be credible, and concluding it would've been "simply implausible" for Bennett to have put on a woman's voice.
Both Wright and Bennett were arrested as the pair sailed into Sydney Harbour after crossing the Tasman Sea from Northland on a crippled yacht in February We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.
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