The daughter of an Outrageous Fortune star has been bailed out by her family after she ripped off a marketing company for nearly $25,000.
Alix Ashby, 28, whose father is Kirk Torrance, who played Detective Sergeant Wayne Judd in the hit West Auckland drama, turned up to Auckland District Court with a cheque for $10,000, which was presented to the bosses of her former employer Brand Spanking this morning.
Her lawyer and the judge said the money came from Ashby's "father" but after today's court hearing the victims said the cheque was not from Torrance but "Chris Ashby Holdings", understood to be the defendant's stepfather.
The court heard how commercial property owned by a family trust was being sold to cover the balance of the reparation.
Ashby previously pleaded guilty to a count of accessing a computer system for a dishonest purpose but sentencing was repeatedly adjourned to give her the chance to pay back the company.
Today, Judge David Harvey sentenced her to 10 months' home detention and 275 hours of community work.
"There was a very, very significant breach of trust," he said.
"What you did was not just stick your hand into the till and put the money in your pocket. It was an elaborate, sophisticated, well thought-out process to channel money into your own bank account."
Ashby - who was referred to as "Torrance" in court - worked as a talent booker from May 2011 to July 2012.
Only weeks into the job, she began siphoning money into her own accounts, making it look as though she was paying contractors on behalf of the business.
By the time she suddenly stopped turning up for work more than a year later, she had stolen $24,610.
Brand Spanking director Vivian Bryant told the court the theft had caused "a number of stressful situations" and one staff member was made redundant because of the financial strain.
"There's an emotional attachment to us as well, because we felt so betrayed," she said.
In an interview with probation, Ashby said she had been "in a bad place" at the time of offending, in the grip of methamphetamine addiction.
Judge Harvey accepted that as an explanation but said it was "far in the background".
"You had the opportunity to access your employer's computer system and you took those opportunities for your own selfish circumstances," he said.
The Sentencing Act directs judges to impose the least restrictive outcome, balanced against the seriousness of the offending and, if that is less than two years' imprisonment, a community-based sentence can be considered.
"If it wasn't for that provision in the Sentencing Act, you'd be heading out that door, down to the cells, no question," the judge said.
Ashby will spend the next 10 months at her Sandringham address and was ordered not to consume drugs or alcohol.
More than $14,000 of the funds she owes Brand Spanking must be paid within three months.
Ashby's mother Erin Ashby previously owned August Models and Talent, which was fined $10,000 in 2010 when the Department of Labour prosecuted it for paying Shortland St extras less than the minimum wage.
The company - where it is understood Alix Ashby also worked as a talent booker - was eventually placed in liquidation the following year.