Amy Maas

Amy Maas is a news reporter with the Herald on Sunday.

Banksie 'will do his time alone'

Plenty of ideas for how shamed politician can serve community.

John Banks at the Auckland High Court. Photo /  Dean Purcell
John Banks at the Auckland High Court. Photo / Dean Purcell

John Banks is unlikely to be thrown in with other convicts to cut scrub or clean beaches during his sentence.

The former Act Party leader was sentenced on Friday to 100 hours' community work for knowingly filing a false electoral return. He is appealing against his conviction - a move that automatically suspends the sentence - claiming new evidence will exonerate him.

However, deregistered lawyer Davina Murray says if his appeal is dismissed, it is unlikely Banks will have to work with other offenders.

"It's fair to say John Banks will be placed on his own. I was placed on my own because it was a high-profile case and they didn't want me to be with other community workers."

Murray was sentenced to 50 hours' community work after passing a smartphone, cigarettes and a lighter to rapist and murderer Liam Reid inside Mt Eden Prison.

As part of her punishment, she polished furniture and ironed replica Victorian outfits at a historical village.

Banks' placement will be up to the probation office but, given his love for animals, it is possible he may request time with the SPCA. Executive director Bob Kerridge confirmed the organisation hosts community workers but declined to speculate on Banks.

Wherever he is placed, Banks will have to do as he's told, not carry weapons or use drugs or alcohol, and not take food with him, because he'll be fed.

Expensive clothing is also out,because Corrections will not pay for anything that is lost or damaged.

He will also have to complete the sentence within six months.

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