No jail time for woman who defrauded senior
A Niagara woman who gambled away more than $56,000 from the elderly mother of her former boyfriend has been banned from attending any casino in Ontario for the next three years but won’t serve any time in jail.
Linda Blackmore, 50, appeared in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines on Friday and pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud under $5,000.
Judge Peter Wilkie agreed to a joint submission from the Crown and defence that the defendant be granted a conditional discharge, which means there will be no conviction registered against the woman.
If she fails to meet the conditions of the discharge — which includes a three-year probationary term with conditions including that she stay out of Ontario casinos — then the discharge could be revoked.
Between February 2017 and February 2018, court was told, Blackmore made numerous withdrawals from a bank account belonging to her boyfriend and his mother.
The defendant was a caregiver to the elderly Fort Erie woman, who died earlier this year.
Assistant Crown attorney Tim Hill told court the defendant has mental health issues as well as a gambling addiction.
“She becomes manic and she gambles and when she gambles she becomes increasingly manic,” he told the judge.
Defence counsel V.J. Singh said the woman has come to terms with her addiction following her arrest.
“It (her arrest) has been very rehabilitative in killing the desire,” he said.
“This is one of those cases in which very good people end up before the courts for addictive type of choices,” Singh added.
The judge also ordered the defendant, who is unemployed, to pay $300 a month for the next 36 months after which a free-standing restitution order of $45,500 will be in place.