Thieving secretary’s appeal rejected

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IOL news may 18  gavel_nov 15 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS The bail application of two men accused of killing a KZN farmer was postponed by the Vryheid Magistrate's Court, police said.

Former legal secretary Candida du Plessis has been refused leave to appeal against her seven-year jail term.

Pietermaritzburg Regional Court magistrate Jennifer Anthoo on Monday dismissed Du Plessis’s application for leave to appeal on the grounds that the sentence imposed on Du Plessis was fair and reasonable.

Anthoo concluded that no other court would deem the sentence “shockingly inappro-priate”, and believed that no other court would come to a different conclusion.

Accompanied by correctional supervision officers, Du Plessis maintained her composure as she was led away from the court.

The 39-year-old mother of two, and a former conveyancing secretary for the legal firm Stowell and Co, pleaded guilty to theft of R1.2 million over a three-year period from July 2008 to July 2011.

She said she started to steal from the firm in July 2008 to pay off a personal debt with money lender Jason Carlyle, and also stole the money to “assist others” with their financial problems.

She admitted stealing a total of R1 212 526.51.

On February 22, 2010, she started to deposit stolen money into another account she opened at Absa bank.

The directors of the law firm confronted her with their suspicions about her conduct on July 28 last year.

She resigned the next day.

Earlier this month, Anthoo sentenced Du Plessis to 10 years in prison, three of which were suspended for five years on condition that Du Plessis not be found guilty of a similar offence during the time of suspension.

Du Plessis is discussing with her advocate, Gideon Scheltema whether to take her application further and petition the Chief Justice. - Daily News


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