Convenience store clerk Contrite Conception Bay South goes to jail for nearly bankrupting her former employer

ST. JOHN’S, NL – An employee thief nearly bankrupted the Conception Bay South convenience store she worked in, a St. John’s court heard on Thursday, November 18.

Provincial Court Judge Mike Madden read aloud from a victim impact statement from Brittany Petten’s former employer before convicting her of defrauding the Stop and Save store of nearly $ 10,500 over seven months in 2018 and 2019.

“My wife and I have seen the bank account shrink every week and every month. What have we done wrong? Were we going to lose our business that we had worked so hard for over the years? Wrote the entrepreneur.

The financial statements showed a significant drop in profits, which the small business had always done well before, he said.

He called the police in July 2019 after noticing a discrepancy between inventory going out and money coming in, and checked his surveillance footage to see Petten cancel customer sales and pocket the money.

When he confronted Petten, she admitted to taking the money. She then pleaded guilty to a single charge of fraud over $ 5,000.

“My wife and I have seen the bank account shrink every week and every month. What have we done wrong? Were we going to lose our business that we had worked so hard for over the years? “- Store owner

Petten, 24, has no criminal record. Reading a pre-sentence report compiled by a probation officer, the judge said Petten described a traumatic childhood in which she witnessed domestic violence and substance abuse, and left her family home as a teenager and lived with long-term abuse. boyfriend. Her ex-boyfriend had pressured her to steal Stop and Save to support her addictions, she said.

“She admitted that what she had done was wrong and said she knew it was being filmed and would end up being taken,” Madden said, reading the report.

At her sentencing hearing in July, Petten told the court she wanted to take responsibility for her actions and was life-changing, with a new partner and stepchildren whom she supported with a new supervisory position in a fast food restaurant.

Prosecutor Jill Quilty had submitted a 90-day jail sentence, to be served on weekends, along with a probation period and an order to repay the stolen money was an appropriate sentence for Petten and would hold her accountable for his crime while allowing him to continue working. Madden said the suggested sentence is on the lower end of the acceptable sentence range for the crime, especially given the impact on Petten’s former employer and the breach of trust involved in the crime, as well as of the extended period involved. However, he accepted it, denying defense lawyer Robert Regular’s request for an intermittent sentence of 45 days and probation as well as a restitution order.

Madden ordered Petten to reimburse his former employer a total of $ 1,972.49, the portion of the loss not covered by his insurance company. Madden made no restitution orders for the insurance company.

Regular told the court that Petten now operates a residence for people with mental health and addiction issues, and asked if his intermittent jail sentence could be changed to allow him to continue working every other weekend.

Madden postponed Petten’s formal conviction until December 15 to allow time for the lawyer to verify the possibility, saying Petten would otherwise have to serve the sentence every weekend or 90 consecutive days.