A former director of Queenstown flight company Heliworks faces a raft of theft and dishonesty charges totalling tens of thousands.
Pilot David Kershaw appeared in Queenstown District Court today (Monday) charged with 19 offences alleged to have occurred over a three-and-a-half-year period while he was managing director for Heliworks Queenstown Helicopters Limited.
Kershaw was appointed as director in April 26, 2006 and ceased the role in November 3, 2010 according to the Companies Office.
The 57-year-old faces four theft charges from February 2007 to February 2010 worth $4125 a pop from a FMR Risk personal insurance policy in his name.
From April 2007 to August 2010 he is also alleged to have collected $6266 on four occasions from a Sovereign Assurance life insurance policy in his name and by deception in December 2008, April 2009 and August 2009 he’s alleged to have caused loss to Heliworks totalling more than $12,500.
It’s also alleged that: in September 2009 he booked up accommodation in Sydney worth $1296, in March 2010 used Air New Zealand flights for himself and wife Erica valued at $916 and in April billed $171 for Corporate Cab Taxi use for the two of them.
Kershaw also faces charges relating to Air NZ flights for Erica and Gabriele Kershaw worth $804 in July, having control of Heliworks business plan to the value of $3018 in August, Wet and Forget products worth $869 in September, and two charges of intending to obtain pecuniary advantage by dishonestly using a document in October last year.
Judge Dominic Flatley refused to return Kershaw’s passport – one of his current bail conditions despite arguments from his Lane Neave lawyer Steve Rollo that he wasn’t a flight risk and needed to be able to fly to deal with business in Indonesia.
Rollo told the court Kershaw had no reason to flee, arguing that he is a born and bred Central Otago man with decades in aviation locally, a founding member of the Air Rescue Trust and with kids and grandchildren locally.
Judge Flatley ruled Kershaw could apply to have his passport returned should the need arise for him to deal with business, but it shouldn’t be returned since they were “serious matters”.
Kershaw was stood down and is due to reappear in Queenstown District Court later this month.
In October helicopter pilot Kershaw launched Frankton-based family aviation consultancy Kershaw Aviation Group.
The company has a contract to provide air support to the world’s largest gold mine in Indonesia.
Kershaw’s directorship with Kershaw Aviation Group ceased on October 28, 2010 and his 50 per cent shareholding in the company was transferred to other shareholders on November 2.