Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Former property tycoon loses home detention appeal

Pat Rippin. File photo / Doug Sherring
Pat Rippin. File photo / Doug Sherring

A former property developer and reality TV-star has lost an appeal against his sentence of home detention for hiding assets worth $277,709 while bankrupt.

Patrick Euan Rippin was a long-time property developer who was known before his 2008 bankruptcy for giving lavish parties and regularly appeared in the social pages.

More than a decade ago Rippin starred in The Family, a series about himself, his wife Denise, and their combined adult family of six that was dubbed New Zealand's version of the The Osbornes.

Rippin was declared bankrupt over a $250,000 debt. Last year he was found guilty in the Auckland District Court on one charge of concealing property from the Official Assingee while bankrupt.

The amount involved was $277,709 and Rippin was sentenced to five months' home detention in February.

Late last month Rippin appealed his sentence as manifestly excessive because of his "deteriorating mental condition."

His lawyer, Daniel Grove, acknowledged the home detention sentence was a lenient one but advanced the appeal on the basis that his client's mental condition had deteriorated since February and so this sentence was no longer appropriate.

Rippin was suffering from the inability to leave his house and do things such as go to a swimming pool and have a coffee, which would provide some relief from the pressures of home detention, Grove told the Court of Appeal.

Grove sought to replace the sentence of home detention with one of community work.
But this appeal was dismissed today by Justices Rhys Harrison, Patricia Courtney and Denis Clifford.

The judges' decision records that Grove submitted an affidavit from a doctor, who had concerns about Rippin's condition "having deteriorated since being placed under home detention and his risk of suicide having significantly increased."

But the judges said that the deterioration in Rippin's condition did not render the sentence imposed on him manifestly excessive.

The original judge's approach "intended to accommodate changes to Mr Rippin's condition".

"Flexibility in home release arrangements was contemplated and provide for," the Court of Appeal said today.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1156846-rippin.html

- NZ Herald

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