November 12th, 2019

Jail time possible for Broadhead

By Mabell, Dave on August 13, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

A secretary who stole nearly $90,000 from the Stirling school has to wait a month to learn if she’s going to jail.

Defence counsel for Kathleen Broadhead was unsuccessful Monday in urging his client be granted a conditional sentence – similar to house arrest – instead of imprisonment. Earlier this year, she entered a guilty plea to a charge of theft over $5,000, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in penitentiary.

Provincial court judge Sylvia Oishi challenged submissions by the defence and Crown lawyers, who suggested jail time was not warranted based on a number of mitigating circumstances. She called for further submissions on appeal decisions reported in related cases.

RCMP laid charges after a Westwinds School Division audit found there were no bank deposits from the Stirling school in 2017 or 2018. The school’s credit card had also been used for purchases unrelated to the school’s needs, they discovered.

The accused and her husband have repaid a significant part of the stolen funds by placing a mortgage on their house, court was told, and they plan to continue repayments. As well, the defence lawyer said, there’s been “a groundswell of support” for her within the tightly-knit community.

The case was adjourned to Sept. 18 for sentencing.

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