Daugh­ter found guilty of steal­ing fa­ther’s money

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

A 70-year-old Syd­ney Mines woman will be sen­tenced in June, hav­ing been found guilty Wed­nes­day of steal­ing $96,000 from her fa­ther.

Ruth Gail Canzio of Bendix Street com­mit­ted the of­fence be­tween Oct. 24-29, 2013, af­ter tak­ing the money from her fa­ther’s safety de­posit box.

Supreme Court Jus­tice Pa­trick Mur­ray en­tered the ver­dict, hav­ing re­served de­ci­sion af­ter pre­sid­ing over a six-day trial in April.

“I do not be­lieve her nor does her ev­i­dence leave me with a rea­son­able doubt,” said Mur­ray, who re­jected a defence sug­ges­tion that Canzio’s brother was ac­tu­ally the guilty one.

Al­though Canzio’s fa­ther, Robert Allen Sr., died in Fe­bru­ary 2014, his video­taped ev­i­dence was ad­mit­ted at the trial. Also tes­ti­fy­ing dur­ing the trial was Canzio’s brother, Robert Allen Jr.

In pre­sent­ing the Crown case, pros­e­cu­tor Glen Gouthro had shown that it was Canzio who made ar­range­ments to have the safety de­posit box drilled and then closed out the ac­count.

She did have sign­ing author­ity on her fa­ther’s ac­count.

Allen Sr. had a par­tic­u­lar habit of re­mov­ing money from his ac­count and plac­ing it in a safety de­posit box which is against bank­ing rules. He even changed banks af­ter another fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion told him to halt such a prac­tice.

Mur­ray noted in his de­ci­sion that both fa­ther and son tes­ti­fied they weren’t aware that Canzio had ac­cess to the safety de­posit box. It was also clear from the ev­i­dence that Canzio and her brother, who lives in On­tario, did not have a close re­la­tion­ship.

At the time of his video state­ment Ruth Gail Canzio leaves a Syd­ney Supreme Court Wed­nes­day af­ter be­ing con­victed of steal­ing $96,000 from her fa­ther’s safety de­posit box in 2013. She is now to be sen­tenced in June. taken by Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice, the fa­ther had re­ceived a ter­mi­nal can­cer di­ag­no­sis. He ad­mit­ted to not re­call­ing al­low­ing Canzio’s to have ac­cess to the box.

Mur­ray said while Canzio ad­mit­ted to hav­ing the box opened, she claimed it was to re­trieve per­sonal pa­pers con­cern­ing her home.

Ac­cord­ing to bank­ing records en­tered at the trial, Mur­ray said Canzio had the box opened and closed the ac­count on Oct. 29, 2013.

Defence lawyer Dar­lene MacRury had ar­gued dur­ing the trial that the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion fo­cused solely on her client with­out giv­ing proper con­sid­er­a­tion to another po­ten­tial sus­pect, Robert Allen Jr.

Fur­ther, MacRury ar­gued that the fa­ther’s tes­ti­mony should not be re­lied on be­cause of nu­mer­ous mem­ory lapses in de­scrib­ing cer­tain events that only raised more ques­tions than pro­vided an­swers.

“I have dif­fi­culty be­liev­ing Ms. Canzio’s ev­i­dence,” said Mur­ray, adding he was puz­zled as to why she never told her fa­ther or her brother about ac­cess­ing the de­posit box and clos­ing the ac­count.

“There was no rea­son to tell them un­less she didn’t want them to know,” said the judge.

Canzio tes­ti­fied that in open­ing the box, there was no money to be found. She said she didn’t tell her fa­ther or brother about the in­ci­dent be­cause they had been em­broiled in an ar­gu­ment days prior and none were speak­ing to the other.

Mur­ray said he found the son’s tes­ti­mony to be straight­for­ward and that he ap­peared to have noth­ing to hide while Canzio painted both her fa­ther and brother in an un­fa­vor­able light.

Af­ter re­triev­ing the con­tents of the box, Canzio left town on Nov. 1 and af­ter spend­ing a few days in Hal­i­fax, she went to Florida, re­turn­ing in Jan­uary 2014.

Sen­tenc­ing is now set for June 27.

CAPE BRE­TON POST PHOTO

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