[Updated] 46-year-old Lorraine Elizabeth Smith and 44-year-old Audra-Ann Bean were jailed for 15 months today [July 4] after earlier being convicted of stealing approximately half a million dollars from their own grandmother. The sisters were given 15 month sentence for senior abuse and 15 months for the theft, with sentences to run concurrently.
Update 7.40pm: The Crown Prosecutor recommended a sentence between 12 – 18 months for the conviction on senior abuse; and 3 – 4 years total for the charges involving theft of the money saying that the offences were serious and merited immediate custodial sentences.
Defence lawyer Larry Mussenden suggested that since all but $78,000 of the $492,000 had either been returned or was in the process of being returned, the sentence should be lower and he urged Justice Carlyle Greaves to consider suspended any sentence of imprisonment.
In a Victim Impact statement, the grandmother said that as a result of the financial problem that had been caused, she had had serious stress issues; had her Cablevision turned off; Belco had threatened to cut off her electricity; she found herself relying on food vouchers; unable to maintain her house as she was accustomed; and having to rely on other family members and friends.
Justice Greaves handed down sentences totaling 52 months for defendant Smith and 43 months for Bean. The sentences included 15 months for each of Smith and Bean for the charge of senior abuse; and 15 months for each on the charge of stealing the $354,000. Each sister got 9 months on the charge of stealing $102,000.
Smith received these additional sentences for stealing the amounts shown: $14,000 – 4 months; $1,000 – 1 month; $8,000 – 3 months; $2,000 – 2 months. Bean received an additional sentence of 4 months for stealing $7,000.
Accepting that much of the money would eventually be returned, Justice Greaves set the sentences to run concurrently. The sisters will therefore have to serve only 15 months total. Time already served will be taken into consideration.
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