Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

New bid for jury trial from National Finance director

Trevor Ludlow, former head of National Finance was given a six year jail sentence last year. His former wife Carol Braithwaite wants a jury to hear a case brought against her.  Photo / Dean Purcell
Trevor Ludlow, former head of National Finance was given a six year jail sentence last year. His former wife Carol Braithwaite wants a jury to hear a case brought against her. Photo / Dean Purcell

National Finance director Carol Anne Braithwaite has this morning made a fresh bid for her case to go before a jury.

Braithwaite - the former wife of jailed National Finance boss Trevor Ludlow - faces one charge of making untrue statements in a company prospectus.

The accused appeared in court this morning and pleaded not guilty.

The charge, laid by the Financial Markets Authority, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison or fines of up to $300,000.

Although Braithwaite made an application for her case to be heard by a jury last month, this was rejected.

But Brathwaite's lawyer, Quentin Duff, said he would like to make an application for a jury trial again as the defendant's co-accused has since pleaded guilty.

The bid for a jury trial, which the Crown opposes, is being heard this morning.

Braithwaite was originally due to appear in the dock with fellow director Anthony Banbrook, but the latter made an 11th-hour guilty plea in June.

Banbrook will now be sentenced next month.

National Finance went into receivership in 2006, owing investors $21 million. Some investors have recovered 49c in the dollar.

Ludlow is serving a sentence of six years and four months after being convicted of charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority.

He was found guilty last July of defrauding investors of an estimated $3.5 million.

Ludlow and Braithwaite once shared a $1.5 million Devonport property and in 2009 Ludlow blamed the stress of the business' failure for the pair's breakup. Both are banned from being directors of a company until April.

National Finance accountant John Gray pleaded guilty to theft and false accounting charges in the Auckland District Court in 2010 and was sentenced to nine months' home detention.

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