by Sam Hurley
A Ponsonby real estate agent has admitted three more charges, including deception, after earlier pleading guilty to methamphetamine-related crimes.
Samuel James Clough, 28, pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court yesterday to obtaining by deception, driving while disqualified and breaching his bail.
In May he pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, possession of meth utensils and refusing to give a blood specimen.
Following a sentence indication hearing today, the court heard how Clough conned a man into buying a car from him for
$12,000 which the man never received, was caught driving while disqualified on May 9, and breached his bail by failing to appear for a court appearance in May.
The Herald is not permitted by law to report details of the sentence indication hearing.
Judge Philippa Anne Cunningham remanded Clough on bail until his sentencing in October. Court documents, released to the Herald by Judge Carolyn Henwood, reveal Clough lives in Epsom and worked as a real estate agent.
Social media profiles listed Clough as a residential salesperson at L J Hooker Ponsonby. However, after the company learned of his drug offending, his employment was terminated.
According to court documents, Clough’s drug offending occurred on the night of October 24 last year when he was driving a Holden Malibu on Remuera Road.
At 7.50pm Clough threw a cigarette out of his window as he approached a red light at the junction of Remuera and Orakei Roads.
After he was stopped, police could smell cannabis coming from the car. Police searched the vehicle and found a glass pipe, a cut straw and 0.5g of meth.
Clough was asked to undergo a compulsory impairment test
at the scene, and court documents show Clough “failed to complete the test” satisfactorily.
Police then asked him to give a blood sample.
“Despite several warnings regarding the consequences, (Clough) refused consent for the blood specimen to be taken,” the police summary of facts read.
Clough was arrested and questioned by police before he was charged.
In explanation for the pipe, Clough said he used it for aromatherapy, the summary said.
“In explanation for the drugs (Clough) stated it was a synthetic drug called ‘rubble’.
“In explanation for refusing
the blood specimen (Clough)
said it’s everything he goes against and it is against his spiritual religion.”
When contacted after Clough pleaded guilty to his meth charges, L J Hooker Ponsonby franchise owner Steven Glucina said he was not aware his employee was before the courts.
“We are surprised as Sam has not notified us of the impending charges,” he said. “We have accordingly terminated his employment contract immediately.”
“He had only been with us as an agent for a very short period, having coming from another real estate office.
“He had not been in attendance for some weeks and was an ineffective agent.”
In his on-line biography Clough describes himself as a “highly motivated individual who is extremely passionate about real estate and takes great pride in his work”.
“I enjoy exceeding my client’s expectations to ensure that I always have satisfied customers that I can keep as clients for life,” he said.
New Zealand Herald
by Sam Hurley