26 Mar 2010

Jail for woman who conned deaf people

8:41 am on 26 March 2010

A woman who defrauded three deaf Christchurch people of more than $100,000 has been sent to prison.

Christine Ticehurst, 49, who's also deaf, pretended to help Debra Jamieson and Michael King get their first home built by claiming to represent Mike Pero, among other property advisers.

It's understood she spent the $84,000 they gave her on alcohol and gambling.

Ticehurst, who is on an unemployment benefit, defrauded another deaf man of nearly $17,000, claiming she needed the money for emergencies.

She also defrauded the Racecourse Hotel of nearly $1000.

Judge Brian Callaghan sentenced her to 18 months in prison and ordered that she pay her victims $50,000 in reparation.

One of her victims, Tyson McDonald, says it will take time for trust to be restored among the city's deaf community, in which people rely on one another, because they understand the challenges of their disability.