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Fortune woman to be sentenced for theft from minor hockey association June 28

Michelle LeRiche will return to court for sentencing on June 28 at 1:30.
Michelle LeRiche will return to court for sentencing on June 28 at 1:30 p.m. - Colin Farrell

GRAND BANK, N.L.— Justice Sandra Chaytor heard sentencing submissions in the trial of Michelle LeRiche in Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Grand Bank on Thursday, June 21.

In April, the 43-year-old, who resides in Fortune, pleaded guilty to charges of theft exceeding $5,000 and three counts of forgery.

Information found in the agreed statement of facts provided to The Southern Gazette by the court show that during her time as treasurer of the United Towns Minor Hocker Association, from 2015-2017, LeRiche had stolen a total of $53,000.

She later told police she had taken the money because she had drug and gambling problems.

Allison Manning entered submissions on behalf of the Crown, seeking a period of incarceration of six months to be served in the province.

Manning advised Justice Chaytor the Crown would also be seeking a two-year period of supervised probation, counselling for drug and gambling addictions, an order that LeRiche cannot enter a licensed establishment with Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) as well as a standalone restitution order in the amount of $53,000.

Marc Evans, council for the accused submitted a counter argument asking the court to consider a period of three months incarceration to be served intermittently. Evans noted LeRiche’s concern over who would care for her youngest child while she is incarcerated.

Evans also asked the court to consider a period of probation of three years, with one of the conditions being LeRiche pay restitution to the association in the amount of $9,000 to be paid over the three-year period.

When given the opportunity to address the court LeRiche apologized to the court and to her family for what she had done. “Because of what I did, they couldn’t play the thing that they loved most to do,” she said.

Justice Chaytor will deliver her decision on sentencing on June 28 at 1:30 p.m.

colin.farrell@southerngazette.ca

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