March 19th, 2018

Woman sentenced to weekends in jail

By Shurtz, Delon on December 7, 2017.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

A Lethbridge woman who stole money from her employer over several months between 2015 and 2016 will spend some time in jail, but only on weekends.

Although Crown prosecutor Michael Fox suggested Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court that Blaire Kaitlyn Harvie receive a jail sentence of four months straight time, he didn’t oppose a recommendation by defence lawyer David Cavilla for three months to be served intermittently.

Harvie pleaded guilty June 20 to one count of theft over $5,000 but sentencing was adjourned to allow time for the preparation of a pre-sentence report, which provided the judge with personal information and circumstances about Harvie to help him determine an appropriate sentence.

The 28-year-old woman was working at Pizza Hut on Mayor Magrath Drive South between July 2015 and February 2016 when the thefts occurred. Court was told customers paid their bills, then Harvie altered the bills at the till to show lesser amounts, allowing her to pocket the difference.

Over the course of several months Harvie managed to steal $12,602 before she was caught and charged. The charge of theft over $5,000 is an indictable offence and liable to a prison term for up to 10 years.

Judge Gerald DeBow acknowledged the findings in Harvie’s pre-sentence report, which referred to her difficult childhood and her struggles with substance abuse. Those addictions, DeBow pointed out, are the cause of many of her problems and have interfered with her efforts to have a structured and stable life.

He sentenced Harvie to three months in jail and placed her on probation for 12 months, during which she is to receive counselling and treatment for her substance abuse. She must also pay back the money she stole from her former employer.

DeBow pointed out he is allowing Harvie to serve her sentence on weekends, beginning Dec. 15, so she can continue working at her current job and receive the help she needs.

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