First published on
Through Catherine Owenin front of Stuff
A ‘gullible’ private investigator has been sentenced to seven months of house arrest after being found guilty of receiving stolen Trelise Cooper clothing she bought in a deal.
“One lone hanger” was all that remained after the theft of $750,000 from the company in October 2020, which was a “kick in the guts” for Cooper’s 100 employees.
On Friday, Kathy Yu-Jen Stephens, who is also a former pie seller, was sentenced by Judge Nevin Dawson at Auckland District Court. She was previously not fired without a conviction.
At her trial, she claimed she was tricked into buying some stolen goods from a man she had only met twice and tried to help.
That man was Nicholas James Bush, who received more than two years in prison for the robbery.
At trial, Stephens told the court she was quite a “gullible person” and thought she was helping a friend.
Bush was convicted of his part in the robbery. He allegedly told Stephens that the samples had been bought by his ex-girlfriend.
Stephens said she often sold her clothes to make money. “When I need money fast, I call my friends and ask them to buy my Gucci bag,” she said.
Stephens later realized she had been “cheated”.
Judge Dawson said on Friday he was not convinced Stephens was an innocent party and was being taken advantage of.
“You would have recognized and known the value of the items you received.”
Judge Dawson expected the true value of the clothing Stephens received to be $10,000.
Bush broke into the designer’s showroom in Epsom on October 17, 2020 by smashing the service door. He took about 1,500 dresses, worth $750,000.
According to court documents, Andrea Edwards called a cab on November 6 to pick her and Bush up from town.
When the taxi arrived, Edwards and Bush loaded several suitcases into the trunk before asking the driver to turn off the meter.
They said he would be paid in cash to take them to The Mini Storage in Cook St.
The pair unloaded almost all of the suitcases and left them in the storage room before dropping them at the Cordis Hotel.
Six days later, police searched a room at the Avani Metropolis Hotel where the couple were staying and found 16 stolen Trelise Cooper branded items of clothing.
The police then found a number of suitcases and clothing at the storage room, which had been booked in Edwards’ name.
In sentencing Bush, the court heard how the break-in has had a lasting effect and “huge reputational damage” for Cooper.
Significant emotional damage was also done to the staff and only a small portion of the clothing has been recovered.
This https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/130441661/trelise-cooper-burglary-gullible-pi-sentenced-to-home-detention story first appeared]on the Stuff news website.