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Pensioner gets justice – but wheels grind slowly

Dec 12th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

A WELLINGTON pensioner is puzzling over a Justice Ministry cheque she received in the mail, relating to a mystery that may be a decade old.

The cheque was for just over $10, with no details as to the reason for the payment.

“I think it’s called the height of stupidity,” says Linda Paris (pictured). “A complete waste of time, money and everything else.”

She thinks it is probably payment for an old bad cheque, but she and late husband Michael sold their jewellery company more than six years ago and for the final three years of business they refused cheques.

Whatever debt the payment was for is at least nine years old.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Jonathan Burrage says among the reasons that may delay reparation are an offender’s ability to pay, previous record and the number of individuals involved in a court case.

However, there is a focus on repaying victims as soon as possible.

“Where a person owes fines and reparation, any payments received are allocated to the reparation first.”

The amount each person receives also depends on whether the judge issues specific instructions as to how the reparation is to be paid.

If the offender is unwilling to pay, the court can place a compulsory deduction on his or her income source.

Reparation is paid to multiple people in the sequence it has been ordered.

And it seems, for some, it can be a long wait.


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is a Whitireia Journalism student.
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