SUMMERSIDE — A 40-year-old city woman who stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from a friend for was sentenced Wednesday to four months of house arrest.
Lisa Ann DesRoches pleaded guilty during an earlier court appearance to a single count of theft over $5,000. The case was adjourned to allow for a presentence report to be prepared, which was detailed Wednesday in court.
DesRoches was charged with stealing $5,600 worth of jewelry from the home of a woman she had known for her entire life. DesRoches had been hired to clean the home. She sold the items as a city pawnshop for $500.
The court heard that DesRoches had never, before this happened, been in trouble with the law and had been a trusted friend of the woman she had victimized.
Crown attorney John Diamond called the theft a breach of trust and presented a joint recommendation on sentencing of four months of house arrest with a condition of DesRoches’ probation to pay back $500 to the pawnshop.
All the stolen and pawned items were recovered, with no financial loss to the victim.
Defence attorney Trish Cheverie said her client committed the crime during a “period of financial duress.”
“Unfortunately, she took advantage of a friendship, which was a lifelong friendship,” said Cheverie. “Aggravating is that she had access to her home.”
The victim, in her victim impact statement, indicated she wished DesRoches luck in dealing with her issues but also said, “I just don’t understand it. I trusted her completely.”
DesRoches has apologized to the victim and, according to the presentence report, co-operated fully with the investigation and with police.
Judge Jeff Lantz agreed with the joint sentence recommendation.
“It is safe to say the victim is somewhat heartbroken over the breach of trust,” said Lantz. “This is somewhat closer to the bottom of the spectrum but not at the bottom. We are dealing with a significant amount of property here.”
While on house arrest, DesRoches cannot entertain guests, can only leave her home for medical appointments, work and to get groceries, must refrain from consuming alcohol or drugs unless prescribed by a physician, must install and maintain a landline phone and has to carry a copy of the conditional order with her at all times.
Once her conditional sentence is served, DesRoches will be on probation for 24 months, during which time she must pay restitution to the pawnshop for their loss and pay a $100 victim surcharge.