Man who stole from church fails to appear in court

By Amy McGillivray

A Tauranga man who stole cash and cheques donated by members of a church had a warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in the Tauranga District Court for sentencing today.

Gabriel Darren Te Huia, 39, was working as a cleaner at St John's Anglican Church in Bureta Rd when he stole donations and childcare payments totalling $1712.

He plead guilty to one charge of using a document to obtain pecuniary advantage and two charges of theft on September 14.

Te Huia began working at the church in September last year and stole the money from the cash box in the childcare centre and the filling cabinet in the Vicar's office between May 1 and July 3.

In one instance he stole a blank church cheque, filled it out for $1280, forged signatures on it and cashed it.

He was due to be sentenced this morning but failed to appear in court.

The judge issued a warrant to arrest for his non-appearance.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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