"I don't have a daughter now. I only have a son."

Ray Thomson says he hasn't only lost his life savings, but also his daughter and some of his grandchildren as a result.

"I don't see her or her children now. They aren't family anymore."

His daughter, Helen Christine Williams, was sentenced to 12 months' home detention in January last year after she pleaded guilty to stealing $320,000 from her elderly father, Ray Thomson.


At the time, Williams was also ordered to repay the debt at the rate of $200 a week. Last week she was in court again, after failing to meet the repayment schedule.

Joan Gibbs, of the Ministry of Justice's collections department, told the New Plymouth District Court Williams still owed $312,772.75.

Gibbs told the court that between November 2016 and March this year, no payments had been made at all.

"Despite trying numerous times to get payment from Mrs Williams there were always excuses as to why there were no payments." At times Williams claimed payments were being made when they weren't, she added.

Williams' lawyer, Julian Hannam, told the court the repayment schedule Williams had originally offered was $100 a week, not $200.

He said Williams herself had no independent means.

"The funds come from her husband's salary, not from Mrs Williams."

Her husband was making the payments because he felt morally obliged, said Mr Hannam.
"It is an act of goodwill."


The $100 a week was a manageable amount for the family, Mr Hannam said.

Judge Sygrove told Williams he could not impose a prison sentence on her if she didn't have the means to pay the reparation herself.

He also told Williams even if she defaulted again prison would not be an option for the court, as she herself did not have the means to make the repayments.

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," he said before he ordered the payments be made at the rate of $100 a week.

Williams' brother John Thomson said he was disappointed with the outcome and the original sentence.

"The justice system had an opportunity to make an example of her but didn't," he said.
Too frail to make the trip to court himself, Ray Thomson heard the outcome from his son afterwards.

"It's pathetic," he said of the result.

Ray also had words of advice for other people to learn from his experience.

"Now I would advise people to be very cautious of any relation taking over financial dealings for them because they can fizzle it out and say you gave them the money."

With the current repayment schedule, it will take 60 years for the money to be fully repaid at which point Ray Thomson would be 146 years old.