Financial pressure caused by COVID leads man to steal from hotel

Financial pressure caused by COVID leads man to steal from hotel

He receives a condition discharge after admitting to taking more than $2,500

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The pressures of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic got to Peter Trainor so much in 2021 and 2022 that on 12 occasions, he deposited money belonging to his employer into his personal bank account.

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In the Ontario Court of Justice on Wednesday, Trainer owned up to the theft of $2,575.86 from the employer by pleading guilty to fraud under $5,000.

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“I just want to say I’m very sorry,” Trainor, 30, told Justice Leonard Kim, just before receiving a conditional discharge and one-year probation order. “I caused embarrassment to myself and my family … I’m very sorry and I just want to move past this and make better decisions in my life.”

“I can see you have the wisdom of hindsight,” Kim told Trainor. “It was a breach of trust. You were given a great deal of responsibility. It wasn’t a single instance. There was a lot of thought.

“But, the circumstances you were in during the pandemic, it weighs heavily on my mind. It was difficult. It was stressful. And, in many cases, it broke families … This is a learning experience and I can see you are moving on from this.”

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The conditional discharge and probation order includes conditions that Trainor does not have any contact with the owners of the Super 8 motel on Regent Street.

He must also stay away from the business and take counselling as directed, in particular for life skills and financial management.

The Crown and defence lawyer Denis Michel suggested the sentence.

Trainor, who is expecting to become a new father shortly, did not have a prior record.

The court heard that Trainor, while working as a clerk at the Super 8 motel on Regent Street, made 12 deposits of money belonging to the business into his personal bank account from May 3, 2021, to April 16, 2022.

Michel, in his sentencing submission, said Trainor lost his job as a result of being charged but has found new employment.

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Financial pressures Trainor was facing during the COVID-19 pandemic led to the thefts, Michel said.

“He was struggling for money,” said the lawyer.

Trainor asked for raises but was told by the hotel owners that “‘we want you to work more (hours).’ It was the biggest mistake he has ever made.”

Michel said Trainor “has brought embarrassment upon himself, but, more importantly, embarrassment to his family for having done this. He is going to have to make it up to them and this is not who he is.”

Michel said one of the first steps Trainor is taking to address his mistake is to make full restitution to the former employer.

“That is being done now,” he said. “We understand COVID put a lot of stress on people, but this is not how things get done.”

[email protected]

Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae

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