BVI News

I was in a bad situation, says woman on theft charge

Denise Stanley outside the court-room on a previous occasion

Defence attorney Jamal Smith has told the court that his client Denise Stanley was not being paid ‘consistently’ by her employers when she stole cash she had received on behalf of her workplace.

The court previously heard that Stanley stole a total of approximately $5,250 over a period of time while she was employed to a law firm in Road Town.

She pleaded guilty to several counts of theft and false accounting.

“While this does not excuse what she has done, her employers put her in a position where she could not meet her living expenses… She could not pay her rent,” the attorney said while mitigating on Stanley’s behalf in the Magistrate’s Court today, June 8.

The defence lawyer further told Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards that his client had every intention of returning the stolen cash.

Stanley also expressed remorse when she appeared in court today.

“I am terribly sorry for the mess I’ve caused. I was really in a tough predicament and I didn’t know what to do… I was willing to put the money back; I just didn’t get the chance.”

Her lawyer, in attempting to save her from a custodial sentence, suggested penalties that could be imposed. They include a suspended sentence or being ordered by the court to ‘keep the peace’.

On the other hand, prosecutor Herbert Potter urged the court to consider the victims in the case.

He reminded the court that the monies Stanley had stolen came from persons who were trying to settle debts of their own.

The prosecuting attorney further noted that those persons could possibly have faced imprisonment for ‘lack of payment’ if Stanley had not been caught.

While noting both attorneys’ arguments, the senior magistrate said: “Everyone has obligations, but not everyone meets them by stealing.”

Stanley is now scheduled to be sentenced on July 19.

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