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Nene King tells court former friend fleeced her

Former Australian Women's Weekly editor Nene King leaves the Melbourne County Court. Monday, Feb 1. 2016. She is expected to give evidence soon in the trial of Colin Hahne, a former friend who allegedly defrauded her while she was vulnerable. Photo AAP Image/ David Crosling

Former Australian Women’s Weekly editor Nene King leaves the Melbourne County Court. Monday, Feb 1. 2016. She is expected to give evidence soon in the trial of Colin Hahne, a former friend who allegedly defrauded her while she was vulnerable. Photo AAP Image/ David Crosling

MELBOURNE [AAP] Former magazine editor Nene King is expected to return to the witness stand when the trial of a man accused of fleecing her of more than $40,000 resumes on Wednesday.

Her former friend Colin Hahne is standing trial on 49 deception-related charges allegedly involving withdrawing thousands from her accounts and using her bank card to pay for hotel bookings in 2009 without her permission.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Ms King, Hahne and his partner Larry Sutcliffe lived together in Ms King’s Caulfield South home between 2007 and 2009, the County Court of Victoria has heard.

Ms King, a former editor of Woman’s Day and the Australian Women’s Weekly, said she ‘paid for everything’ while the pair lived with her rent-free – including giving Mr Sutcliffe cash to buy cannabis.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Ms King vehemently denied a suggestion from Hahne’s defence that she authorised payments from her credit card for hotel bookings as payment to the people he arranged to supply the cannabis.

She said she smoked marijuana about four or five times a day at the time.

‘If I smoked five joints a day, or nine joints a day, did that give Colin the right to milk my accounts dry?’ she said.

Ms King said she had a lot of money when her magazine career finished but in 2009, when her AMEX card bounced at a Las Vegas hotel, she phoned Hahne from the US.

‘I ranted and raved and screamed and said, what have you done?’ Ms King said.

Hahne’s defence lawyers say Ms King’s spending was out of control due to substance abuse, her generosity and shopping habits.


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