Woman who pleaded guilty to stealing from Oliver Elementary PAC has sentencing delayed

PAC fund thief court delays

The former treasurer of the Oliver Elementary School parental advisory committee who pleaded guilty to stealing funds from the committee had court proceedings delayed this week due to health-related issues.

Belinda Yorke pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000 in February, 2020. She was charged in 2019 after an 18-month RCMP investigation into missing funds that the Oliver Elementary School’s parental advisory committee uses to enhance students’ experience at the school.

Yorke resigned from her position on the committee in January 2018, when committee executives reported the alleged theft of funds to the Oliver RCMP, who in turn began their extensive investigation with assistance from the PAC and the BC Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch.

During a short hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton Monday, defence counsel Michael Patterson said his client is in “serious ill health.” Patterson told the court Yorke has undergone multiple surgeries and was unable to provide the further instructions needed to make the application for a conditional sentence — a non-custodial sentence served in the community, commonly referred to as house arrest. Under the criminal code, a conditional sentence is not available for those guilty of theft or fraud over $5,000.

A date for court to hear Yorke’s application has yet to be set and will be scheduled on Dec. 7.

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