Urwin decides against jail term appeal

By Edward Gay

Former Bridgecorp director Gary Urwin. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Former Bridgecorp director Gary Urwin. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Former Bridgecorp director Gary Urwin has decided not to appeal his two-year jail sentence.

Urwin was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland last month on charges of misleading investors.

His lawyer David Reece had pushed for a sentence of home detention but Justice Pamela Andrews said this would not be appropriate.

Mr Reece told APNZ today that following legal advice, Urwin would not be proceeding with an appeal against his sentence.

The two-year sentence means Urwin is within the threshold to receive home detention.

Urwin is entitled to receive legal aid.

His bill, subject to the filing of further invoices, stands at $46,801.

The 62-year-old accountant originally went to trial with fellow Bridgecorp directors Rod Petricevic, Rob Roest and Peter Steigrad but changed his plea to guilty.

These three other men were convicted in March of misleading investors in Bridgecorp's offer documents.

At the sentencing last month, Justice Andrews said Urwin was likely to have known about Bridgecorp's deteriorating financial health and that the company missed payments to investors before it collapsed owing $459 million.

"You were either grossly negligent or were likely to have knowledge of Bridgecorp's negative liquidity position and that it had missed payments of interest or principal,'' she said.

The judge referenced four victim impact statements from out-of-pocket Bridgecorp investors, who lost between $10,000 and $2 million each.

"Whatever their loss was, it was money they could not afford to lose. They have all been severely affected,'' Justice Andrews said.

The judge also said the former director had knowledge of both sides of the "Barcroft transaction'', a related-party deal between Bridgecorp and a company Urwin had interests in.

Despite the ties between the two companies, the transaction was labelled as unrelated in Bridgecorp's offer documents.

- APNZ

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