© Guardian photo
Prince Edward Island provincial court
A 44-year-old Charlottetown woman who advertised her house cleaning business on Kijiji has been sentenced to 90 days in the provincial correctional centre for stealing from her clients.
Shari Anne Harris will serve her sentence on an intermittent basis on consecutive weekends.
Upon completion of the custodial portion of her sentence she will spend the next two years on probation. While on probation for these offences, which constitute a breach of trust, she must make restitution of $1,750 to two of the clients she stole from.
Chief Provincial Court Judge John Douglas ordered Harris to provide her probation officer with a list of her current customers and any new customers she may take on during the course of her probation. She must also provide satisfactory proof that she has advised those customers and potential customers of her convictions for theft.
Douglas said once given this information customers can decide for themselves whether they wish to continue using her services.
The court imposed prohibitions on the use of alcohol and non-prescription drugs.
The thefts which Harris was charged with relate to two clients.
From those residences she stole a laptop computer, an iPad, a smart phone, a video camera and other electronics.
The theft of the laptop was particularly disturbing for the owner of that item because he was using the computer to complete a writing project. The court was told the hard drive of the computer was wiped clean after it was stolen, so the owner of the laptop lost all his work.
As a result of that theft he missed a writing deadline and suffered a loss of income he estimated to be in the area of $5,000.
No restitution for that lost income was ordered by the court. Quantifying the loss was thought to be problematic.
A number of the items Harris stole from the homes she cleaned were sold at Cash Converters.
Speaking through her defence counsel, Harris told the court that she accepts full responsibility for what she did. She said as well that the difficulties people suffered as the result of her actions were not on her mind when she committed these thefts and pawned their belongings.
Harris had a prior criminal record with convictions for theft, fraud, obstruction of justice, breach of probation and driving while disqualified.
It was noted that the accused continues to advertise her cleaning services.
The Crown noted as well that in her advertising Harris promoted her cleaning business as having been in place far longer than the two years it has actually been operational.
Her defence counsel told the court that Harris has actually been in the cleaning business for many years but that about 15 years of that was spent as a cleaner at a hospital in another province.