Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Bridgecorp director's appeal likely to be dismissed

(L- R) Bridgecorp Rod Petricevic, Robert Roest, Gary Urwin and Peter Steigrad, stand in the dock at the Auckland High Court. Photo / File / Brett Phibbs
(L- R) Bridgecorp Rod Petricevic, Robert Roest, Gary Urwin and Peter Steigrad, stand in the dock at the Auckland High Court. Photo / File / Brett Phibbs

Convicted Bridgecorp director Peter Steigrad's appeal against his home detention sentence is likely to be dismissed, a court has indicated.

Steigrad is on holiday in Europe for his daughter's wedding, due to happen on September 8, and did not appear in person for his appeal hearing.

The director was found guilty in April of making untrue statements in Bridgecorp's offer documents and in May was ordered to complete nine months of home detention, 200 hours of community work and pay $350,000 in reparations.

However, the terms of his sentence, including restrictions on travel, were suspended when he filed an appeal and Steigrad has been at his home in Australia since July.

While Justices Paul Heath, John Fogarty and Douglas White indicated today that Steigrad's sentence was "appropriate", the three judges did not formally dismiss his appeal.

Instead, Steigrad's lawyer requested the court defer its judgement on the appeal until August 29.

"That is the date when Mr Steigrad can as soon as possible get back to the country," Brian Keene QC said.

"I have indicated to my client by email ... that he should be on the first plane and be here as soon as possible," he said.

The Justices reserved their decision on the appeal and indicated they would release a judgement or minute tomorrow.

When an appeal is thrown out, the terms of the sentence - in this case home detention - are imposed again immediately.

Justice White mentioned that an offender serving home detention who is in breach of its conditions "without any reasonable excuse" could face a maximum penalty of one year in prison or a fine not exceeding $2000.

Steigrad, who stood trial with the now-jailed Bridgecorp directors Rod Petricevic and Rob Roest, was acquitted on four of the 10 Securities Act charges he faced and found guilty of the others.

Petricevic, Roest and Steigrad were directors of Bridgecorp when it collapsed in July 2007 owing 14,500 people around $490 million.

- NZ Herald

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