R v Duffell [2017] NZDC 16052

Published 20 July 2018

Fraud — obtaining by deception — theft by a person in a special relationship — Mears v R [2014] NZCA 30 — R v Davis [2009] NZCA 26. The defendant was sentenced having pleaded guilty at a very late stage, just before the trial date, to six charges of obtaining by deception and three of theft by a person in a special relationship. The offending concerned offering to sell victims exclusive licence rights to market a piece of software that he had developed. The defendant entered into contracts with seven victims. The court noted that the victims expected exclusive licence rights, which did not exist in the defendant's business. Aggravating features of the offending included planning, premeditation, repeated offending and the effect of the offending on the victims. The court further took into account mitigating features of the defendant's good character and guilty plea. The defendant was sentenced to three years and 10 months' imprisonment on each charge. Judgment date: 21 July 2017.