Woman faces jail after theft plea

A woman who stole more than $51,000 from her employer during a three-year period faces a jail sentence after she pleaded guilty to theft on Wednesday.

A woman who stole more than $51,000 from her employer during a three-year period faces a jail sentence after she pleaded guilty to theft on Wednesday.

Kelley Van Dirstein, 37, of Leslieville, will be sentenced on Dec. 7 after pleading guilty to theft of more than $5,000 in provincial court.

Court heard the woman, who worked in the payroll department at a small Sylvan Lake oilfield business, stole the money by giving herself extra paycheques.

“She paid herself and made it look like regular wages,” Crown prosecutor Murray MacPherson said.

When irregularities were noted by company officials, RCMP were notified.

Court heard the accused co-operated with police and has repaid the money she stole.

MacPherson said the Alberta Court of Appeal has said theft from an employer mandates a jail sentence.

He said the Crown wouldn’t oppose any request for a community-based sentence, which could involve house arrest and a curfew.

Defence lawyer David Bourdon said his client could be in line for a suspended sentence and probation.

Judge John Holmes said theft from employers is a breach of trust.

The judge asked Bourdon to prepare some material to argue why his client should receive a suspended sentence.