Judge strikes guilty plea and or­ders ac­cused to trial

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page -

A New Vic­to­ria man was only sec­onds away from be­ing placed on pro­ba­tion for 15 months Wed­nes­day when a pro­vin­cial court judge re­jected his guilty plea and or­dered he stand trial on a charge of theft.

Kenneth Al­lan Mor­ri­son, 38, of Kaneville Road, pleaded guilty to steal­ing $200 from April MacK­in­non’s bank ac­count in Novem­ber 2016.

In out­lin­ing the facts of the case, pros­e­cu­tor Lisa MacPhee told the court MacK­in­non went to the Glace Bay Credit Union dur­ing her lunch hour on the day in ques­tion and af­ter re­triev­ing money from her ac­count, left the bank to re­turn to work.

Later in the af­ter­noon, the credit union called and told her they were in pos­ses­sion of her debit card that she later claimed.

Later in the evening, MacK­in­non, a mother of three, went gro­cery shop­ping and at­tempted to use her debit card but it was de­clined.

She later learned that $200 had been taken from her ac­count.

MacK­in­non went pub­lic with her story, in an in­ter­view with the Cape Breton Post, shortly af­ter the in­ci­dent and the credit union re­leased a video im­age from the bank show­ing a male at the ATM shortly af­ter MacK­in­non.

Mor­ri­son would later turn him­self in to po­lice and was charged with theft.

MacPhee ex­plained the card was used be­cause it re­mained in the ATM ready for another trans­ac­tion.

MacPhee and de­fence lawyer An­dre Landry jointly of­fered the sen­tenc­ing rec­om­men­da­tion.

Landry said his client is cur­rently re­ceiv­ing a dis­abil­ity pen­sion and has suf­fered a num­ber of health is­sues in­clud­ing un­der­go­ing liver and bone mar­row trans­plants. Landry said his client is now await­ing a kid­ney trans­plant.

He added that Mor­ri­son has al­ready paid $200 that Landry is hold­ing, in trust, un­til the com­ple­tion of the case.

Be­fore pass­ing sen­tence, Judge Ann Marie MacInnes asked the ac­cused if he had any­thing to say.

“I’m still not sure I used her bank card,” said Mor­ri­son, adding he pleaded guilty in or­der to put the is­sue be­hind him and con­cen­trate on his health is­sues.

In hear­ing such a com­ment, MacInnes said she was strik­ing the not guilty plea and or­dered the case to trial be­fore a dif­fer­ent judge.

Mor­ri­son is now to re­turn to pro­vin­cial court Aug. 28 to re­ceive a trial date.

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