Fraud suspects preliminary inquiry delayed again

Staff ~ The Western Star
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Problems with a video interview of a key witness continued to delay the preliminary inquiry of a Corner Brook woman accused of stealing money and defrauding Western Health.

Barbara Mahar sits in provincial court in Corner Brook on Monday during a recess in her preliminary inquiry. —Photo by Cory Hurley/The Western Star

The hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence against Barbara Mahar to go to trial was scheduled for Monday, but just as occurred back in August, the inquiry was postponed because there was no audio with the police interview of a Western Health employee.

Unlike in August, the preliminary inquiry did start Monday. Its completion has been scheduled for Dec. 17, allowing Crown attorney Ed Ring and lawyer Sandi MacKinnon the chance to review the interview.

The sound for the video was provided by the RNC Monday.

Mahar, a former employee in the cashier’s office for Western Health, has been charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000 for offences alleged to have taken place between April 1, 2011 and Feb. 29, 2012.

In August, provincial court Judge Catherine Allen-Westby set this week’s preliminary inquiry stating the lack of an audio recording would not be prejudicial against Mahar. However, Judge Wayne Gorman recessed the hearing Monday morning so the lawyers could hear the interview.

When they returned in the afternoon, MacKinnon requested more time to review it. Ring, who had said earlier in the day that he wished to proceed with the hearing despite not having the audio, consented to the postponement.

MacKinnon also told Gorman she needed to time to prepare in the case. She may need to consider other legal options for the defence.


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