NNSL Photo/Graphic

Canadian North

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Woman sentenced for 'crime spree'
19-year-old hit hotel manager with vodka bottle; stole more than $3,600 from credit card, bank card

Daniel Campbell
Northern News Services
Published Friday, February 21, 2014

Daniel Campbell
A 19-year-old woman was sentenced to 60 days in jail and six months of house arrest on Monday for what one prosecutor called a "crime spree" involving the theft of more than $3,600 and the assault of a hotel manager.

Gloria Francis was arrested Oct. 8. She pleaded guilty to one count each of assault, fraud and theft before trial.

A statement of facts read to the court show Francis' crimes began shortly after 3 a.m. July 3, when she and two friends were banging on the door of the >Discovery Inn, trying to goad the night manager into a fight.

The manager grabbed a bat to defend himself, but was pulled outside and beaten by the three. Security camera footage showed Francis hitting the manager over the head with a 40-ounce bottle of vodka, according to the statement.

The three fled the scene on foot, leaving the manager with bruises, scratches and a swollen lip.

Crown prosecutor Alison Duckett linked Francis' crimes to a recent crack addiction, noting she has no prior criminal record.

"This was the start of a crime spree of violence and dishonesty that lasted over three months," Duckett said.

A month after the assault, Francis found a lost credit card, using it to spend nearly $2,500 at Mac's convenience store and Sunlines Alterations and Convenience in a matter of days.

Then on Oct. 3, Francis stole her former foster parent's bank card, withdrawing cash and using the card to make $1,157 in purchases.

Duckett asked the courts to impose a four to six month jail sentence for all three crimes, plus a three-year probation term to help Francis "get back on track."

Defence lawyer Tony Amoud argued against jail, wanting his client to serve house arrest. He noted Francis' difficult childhood, with both parents having addictions problems. Francis was homeless by her early teens and getting assistance from the Side Door Youth Centre in Yellowknife, he said.

After becoming addicted to crack in June, Francis began committing crimes to support her habit, Amoud said. Francis has been clean since last August, looking for work and living with a supportive partner, he said.

"Her perspective has changed on everything," Amoud said.

Chief Judge Robert Gorin had trouble believing Francis had been drug-free since August, pointing to the bank card theft she committed two months later.

Wearing a purple jacket and skateboard shoes, Francis sniffled and grabbed tissues during the hearing. She apologized to her victims, one who was sitting in the courtroom behind her.

Gorin sentenced Francis to six months of house arrest for the assault and credit card fraud, plus 60 days in jail for the bank card theft, which she'll be able to serve intermittently on weekends.

Francis will be on probation for three years following her sentence, during which time she will be forced to pay back the money she stole. She is also barred from having any sort of employment which gives her authority over money or property.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.