Gail Benoit sentenced to a month’s house arrest for thefts

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on January 13, 2014

Gail Benoit was sentenced in Digby provincial court on Monday, Jan. 13 to one month’s house arrest and a year’s probation for two cases of theft.

Jonathan Riley

Gail Benoit is slowly working her way through the various charges against her.

She appeared in Digby provincial court on Monday, Jan. 13 for sentencing in relation to two separate cases of theft—the first for stealing a man’s wallet in Digby on Sept. 12, 2012; and the second for shoplifting in Bridgewater on July, 15, 2013.

Benoit pleaded guilty to both charges and to a charge of breach of probation in relation to the second theft.

Judge Timothy Landry sentenced her to a month’s house arrest, during which time she is not to consume alcohol or drugs.

For the other two charges, she also received a month’s house arrest, but concurrent to the first sentence – meaning, in essence, only the one month’s house arrest.

Landry allowed that Benoit can ask permission from her probation officer to leave her home to visit her grandchild in hospital.

“That means they can decide to allow it or not,” said the judge to Benoit.

The house arrest is to be followed by a year’s probation during which Benoit may have to attend counselling if directed to by her probation officer, and is not to have any contact with the victim of the Digby theft.

The judge waived the victim surcharge but attached a restitution order to the probation, meaning Benoit has a year and a month to pay back the victims.

The prosecution described the Digby theft as “crime of opportunity”.

A man left his wallet on the deli counter at a local grocery store and Benoit picked it up.

The victim asked for $127 in restitution  -- $20 for the wallet, $40 for the money in the wallet, and $60 he had to spend to have his driving licence replaced.

In Bridgewater, Benoit shoplifted $107 in merchandise, including a purse, from the Giant Tiger store on July 15, 2013.

She also pleaded guilty to a charge of breach of probation related to the Bridgewater theft.

Benoit’s lawyer gave her address as Dartmouth during the proceedings.

Fraud charges still pending

In other unrelated matters, Benoit pleaded not guilty in Bridgewater court last November to charges of fraud, identity fraud and theft under $5,000.

Those charges have to do with the sale of two dogs from New Brunswick which Benoit was allegedly looking after.

Until that case is dealt with, Benoit is not allowed to buy or sell animals.

That trial will take place in Bridgewater starting on April 14.