Darlene Edwardes-Evans, once in charge of running Peterborough’s Big Brothers, Big Sisters branch, will spend two years less a day under house arrest following her sentencing for fraud over $5,000.
Edwardes-Evans pleaded guilty to the charge in June. She was sentenced on Wednesday afternoon.
“Like most in the courtroom, I’m disappointed she did not receive a custodial sentence,” said Tammy Williams, a board member with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Peterborough.
Court heard she had opened a bank account using forged documents, and, over a nearly decade-long period, funnelled almost $120,000 of the organization’s money into that account. The Crown said Edwardes-Evans transferred $107,000 of that money into her personal account in 2015.
Edwardes-Evans has since repaid that amount back to the organization, the court heard.
“There’s some element of restitution, and we’re certainly appreciating that,” said Williams. “I don’t sense an element of remorse, and that’s disappointing.”
Mark Shuwera, the new executive director of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Peterborough, said the charity has been trying to get back on its feet since Edwardes-Evans’ arrest. But, he said, the damage has been done.
“What’s happened to us has been devastating, we’ve lost funding, we’ve lost support,” he said. “Our volunteer inquiries are down slightly, and that all affects the children in the long run.”
Jim Russell, head of Peterborough and District United Way, was at Wednesday’s sentencing. He said the crime should not discourage anyone from donating to a local charity.
While under house arrest, Edwardes-Evans will be allowed to leave her home to attend work, walk her dogs, run errands once a week and attend medical appointments and religious services.
She must also perform 150 hours of community service.