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Court briefs
Boating death case going to trial

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Friday, June 1, 2012

A judge ruled yesterday that the case against a man who was charged following the 2010 drowning death of Colin Lafferty will go to trial.

Henry Basil is facing a charged of impaired operation of a vessel and a charge of impaired operation of a vessel causing death.

On Canada Day, Basil and two other men were in a boat that capsized in Akaitcho Bay. Both Basil and passenger Chris Burke were rescued by a boater, but Lafferty, also known as Colin King, drowned as he swam to get help. His body was recovered from the water that evening.

Judge Bernadette Schmaltz made her decision to send the case to trial following a two-day preliminary inquiry.

Woman pleads guilty to stealing more than $80,000

A Yellowknife woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $80,000 from her former employer.

Coleen Laura McClean, 62, admitted Tuesday morning to using 63 forged cheques, which were payable to herself or a relative, as if they were genuine. She also pleaded guilty to committing theft over $5,000. McClean had previously been charged with 126 counts of falsifying and then using cheques between May 2008 and May 2011. However, the Crown has reduced those 126 counts to two charges, one for making forged cheques and another for using them as if they were genuine. The judge has not yet formally accepted McClean's plea. If her plea is accepted the Crown is expected to drop the charge against her for making the cheques. McClean is expected back in court on July 18 for sentencing.

If she is convicted of theft over $5,000 and the charge for using forged cheques, she will face a maximum of 12 years in prison.

More downtown break-in charges filed

A man accused of breaking into one downtown business now faces three more charges of the same offence.

Eric Wardell, 44, is charged with breaking and entering into Vixen Hair Den, Chez Patricia, and Rio Tinto's head office on Franklin Avenue, in addition to a previous charge relating to a break-in at the clothing store Headgear.

Wardell was arrested May 20 at about 1:30 a.m. after being accused of breaking into Headgear, whose cash register went missing that morning. While in custody he was also charged with breaking and entering into three businesses in the W.H. Bromley building on May 7.

On that night someone entered through the back door of one of the businesses in the building and then smashed through the walls to get into two other businesses on either side, according to a statement issued previously by the RCMP. A small amount of money was stolen from one the of the businesses. Wardell is charged with two counts of break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence and two counts of break and enter and committing an indictable offence.

Wardell has a history of committing thefts and break and enters. As of 2010 he had been convicted of 57 property-related crimes.

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