6 Oct 2011

Former boss jailed for stealing from AUT

7:15 pm on 6 October 2011

A former chief executive at Auckland University of Technology has been jailed three years and two months for stealing $665,985 from the institution.

Jonathan Kirkpatrick, an Anglican priest, appeared at the Auckland District Court on Thursday where he was sentenced to serve three years and two months in prison and ordered to pay $20,000 reparation.

Kirkpatrick resigned from the university's Business Innovation Centre where he had been chief executive for nine years after an audit revealed accounting discrepancies.

Judge AA Sinclair told court Kirkpatrick signed off false invoices for companies he owned over eight-and-a-half years.

She said the theft cost the tertiary institution more than $1 million, including the amount stolen, as well as investigation and insurance costs.

The judge said Kirkpatrick was motivated by greed and spent the money on holidays and entertainment.

She said Kirkpatrick abused his position at the university and his offending has caused real disappointment.

AUT says the offending had a profound impact on the people Kirkpatrick worked with.

The Anglican Church says Kirkpatrick gave up his licence to work as a priest when the offending came to light. He was dean at St Paul's Cathedral in Dunedin for five years but resigned from that position before working at AUT.

The Anglican Church says Kirkpatrick would have to apply for a licence again, and a bishop would have to grant it, if he wanted to work as a priest in a church again.