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This article was published 29/1/2016 (1705 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
There’s going to be one noticeable absence from a Winnipeg wedding social if it proceeds as planned next month: the bride.
Rachael Roopchand, 31, left court in handcuffs Friday after being sentenced to one-year in jail for stealing more than $53,000 from her employer.
Her tearful apology and plea for leniency in the form of a conditional sentence weren’t enough to convince Queen’s Bench Justice Glenn Joyal to allow her to remain free in the community. He cited the fact she already had a prior workplace theft conviction from 2009 on her record when she committed this crime, and is also now pending on new allegations which remain before the courts.
Joyal said his biggest concern is what appears to be a lack of explanation for why Roopchand is stealing money, what she is using it for and where it has ended up. She has paid back only about $3,000 since her arrest.
"It remains a very real and troubling mystery," said Joyal.
The Crown was seeking up to two years behind bars.
Defence lawyer Tony Kavanagh said his client was suffering from financial problems and doesn’t have any obvious addictions that are often seen in these types of cases. But Joyal said that’s no excuse, as most people experience some level of money issue in their lifetime.
"The recourse for debt certainly can’t be theft," he said.
Even worse, Roopchand was given a break in 2009 when a judge agreed not to send her to jail, instead placing her on a nine-month conditional sentence for stealing from a different former employer.
"You were the recipient of a certain amount of trust from the courts," Joyal said.
In this case, Roopchand was working for a local medical clinic when she began pocketing money. The discovery led to "an atmosphere of paranoia and suspicion" in the workplace, said Joyal.
Court records show Roopchand is currently facing a civil lawsuit from her employer. She has been paying back about $300 per month over the past year and will continue to do that upon her release, according to her lawyer.
"I just want to say I’m really sorry for what I’ve done. I know it was wrong and I want to seek help for it," Roopchand said Friday while thanking her fiancé and other family members. "I’m trying to turn my life around. If I could, I wish I could take it back."
Roopchand has also been placed on three years of supervised probation, which includes not working in any environment where she is allowed to handle cash.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.
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