A woman who helped send her former partner to prison for 10 months after lying in court has escaped with 50 hours community service.
Marion Anne Carter, 61, was sentenced in Hamilton last week after earlier pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Her lies under oath helped convict Robert "Bob" Sutton of
two rapes, four assaults with a weapon and nine assaults on a number of people that saw him jailed in November 2005.
Sutton told the Herald on Sunday from his takeaway and dairy in Mourea, near Rotorua, yesterday he "wasn't very impressed" with her punishment.
"I don't wish jail on anybody but her. I was gutted by the fact that I did 10 months in jail for her lies, and she turns around and she gets 50 hours and that's it."
The allegations dated back to 1995 when Sutton was operating a hotel in the King Country town of Piopio.
He had maintained his innocence since the day he was arrested by two detectives but the truth only emerged when two witnesses came forward after national media coverage of his sentencing.
One came forward with a letter written by Carter telling the complainants what to say on the witness stand, and the other remembered being there when Carter wrote the instructions.
"I was found guilty and on bail about to be sentenced... a woman picked up a paper and made the connection," Sutton said.
"What Anne had done, she'd written instructions out for the `witnesses' of what she wanted them to say at court, and she'd written it out for this woman."
A year later, the Court of Appeal quashed Sutton's convictions and ordered a new trial but police decided not to proceed.
Since then the father-of-four has been working on keeping the nightmares at bay.
He shared a prison cell with a murderer and made friends with gangsters, killers and rapists in the general prison population.
The 58-year-old said he didn't hate his partner of 10 years
but admitted he was "stupid" for leaving his wife of 15 years
and their two children for a woman happy to arrange his demise.
After suffering sideway glances from locals, he believes he finally has his "life back on track".
With the support of his loyal customers, he is making back some of the $140,000 he forked out for solicitors and wages while he was in jail.
"I've put all my heart and soul back into the shop that I own. Now I'm in a good position, even though I paid out a lot of
But he will never forgive Carter.