Abbott appeals sentence

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Shifty Queenstown mechanic Karl Abbott is appealing his for charges relating to a rip-off repair.

Lawyers for the notorious local car fixer want the Court of Appeal to review the seven-month stint handed down by Judge Michael Turner on March 18.

But they have not appealed the conviction itself – for lying to a customer, insurance company and the Disputes Tribunal.

Mary McCutcheon, court registry officer at the Court of Appeal, says: “Mr Abbott’s sentence appeal was received on March 26.

“There has been no hearing date set down at this stage.”

Dunedin lawyer John Westgate, who represented Abbott in Invercargill District Court in March, did not comment when Mountain Scene asked him the basis for the appeal.

The mobile phone call was cut off and he didn’t respond to a follow-up call or email.

Abbott told Brazilian Darcio Fernandez he’d located and fitted a second-hand gearbox to his Honda - but he hadn’t.

Fernandez returned the car to Abbott twice, then took him to the Disputes Tribunal.

At the hearing, Abbott produced a signed letter saying he had located and fitted a second-hand gearbox.

Abbott, 54, went to trial in January but changed his plea to guilty part-way through.

He admitted two charges of fraudulently using a document for financial gain and one of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He was discharged on two charges relating to work on another vehicle.

Abbott, who lives at Lake Hayes, has dishonesty convictions dating back to 1995 and served two prison terms in the decade from 2000.

He was not barred from working on cars but ordered not to handle financial transactions for any business without the permission of his probation officer.

He was also ordered to pay $766 to Lumley Insurance and $3000 to his victim.

Westgate told the court his client had made a real effort to get on with his life after previous offending and “a lot of people respect the mechanical work he does”.

He’d taken a “ridiculous risk” with Fernandez’ car “out of a misguided sense of trying to help someone out”, Westgate said.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz