A former Kapiti mortgage broker has been sentenced to prison for fraud which left people without homes and retirement funds.
In Wellington District Court this morning, Kerry Lynette Buddle was handed down a sentence of four years and three months in prison for charges of defrauding 10 people of $600,000.
Buddle had originally pleaded not guilty to 27 charges of fraud, but changed her plea ahead of her trial.
Buddle was in tears as Crown lawyer Kate Feltham presented the victims' case to Judge Peter Hobbs.
"They trusted her as their financial adviser and she manipulated them.
"The harm that has been caused to those people is enormous, they have suffered a loss that will continue for a considerable period of time."
Defence lawyer Marty Robinson read from a written statement from Buddle.
"Never did I wish for anyone to go through what my victims have now suffered.
"For the last three years I have lived with this each day."
As Mr Robinson made reference to Buddle's involvement with the church and her battle with cancer, cries of anger were heard from the public gallery, which was full, some of them her victims.
Judge Hobbs said Buddle targeted and preyed on financially naive and vulnerable people.
"It was sophisticated in design and execution," he said.
He called her crimes "calculated" and "premeditated," and said many of her victims had now lost retirement plans and their homes, and were in financial ruin.