OPP officer sentenced to six months jail on fraud conviction

These are violations by the Ontario Provincial Police officers dealing with the Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Substance and Abuse Act, Customs and Excise Act, etc.

OPP officer sentenced to six months jail on fraud conviction

Postby Thomas » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:52 pm

Kenora OPP officer sentenced to six months jail on fraud conviction

A Kenora detachment OPP officer was on the receiving end of the justice system at Ontario Court of Justice on Monday, June 6.

Const. Steve Tetreault, 47, was sentenced to six months in prison for breach of trust and fraud by Justice Gustave Fitzpatrick. Sentencing followed Tetreault’s guilty plea to the charge of theft over $5,000 on March 22. He defrauded his mother of $135,000. He has no prior convictions.

Tetreault joined the OPP at age 21 in 1989. He has been on extended medical leave from OPP due to physical and mental health problems.

Prior to sentencing, Fitzpatrick reviewed the joint submission submitted by defence counsel Brian Amy and Crown attorney Peter Keene, as well as a victim impact statement.

Although Tetreault’s mother requested an alternative sentence to a prison term, the court noted such options are no longer available and agreed a prison term is warranted due to the sum of money involved, the financial and emotional hardship on the family and the accused’s position as an officer of the law.

The court also heard details of the downward spiral of circumstances contributing to the deterioration of Tetreault’s physical and mental health.

Defence counsel Amy related physicians’ reports describing his client as suffering from a long list of ailments including: anxiety, depression, back pain, sleep apnea and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Amy noted his client’s diagnosis of PTSD is a result of events he witnessed as a police officer. Tetreault was first on the scene of the murder of a fellow police officer and present when another officer was shot. He has also attended numerous motor vehicle accidents and incidences of sudden and violent death while on duty.

“Unfortunately it got to him and manifested itself in severe depression,” Amy said.

Amy traced Tetreault’s physical problems to a February 2001 incident when he responded to a snowmobile accident where two teenage boys went through the ice. The officer rescued one of the victims, carried him to his cruiser and took the boy to hospital. However, the incident left Tetreault with severe back problems for which he was treated with the addictive painkillers percocet and morphine.

Financial problems following the break down of his first marriage were cited as a contributing factor to Tetreault’s depression and other mental health issues. Amy noted his client intended to repay his mother the money he stole to pay off debts but is not in a position to do so. She is not seeking restitution.

Amy noted the consequences of the jail sentence have far reaching implications for his client as conviction of a criminal offence is grounds for dismissal from the OPP, including the loss of benefits and pension. Tetreault, with 27 years as a police officer, would have been eligible for full pension in three years.

“Mr. Tetreault has gone through significant losses in his life… and treatment for severe depression, which didn’t work,” Amy related. “There’s nobody but losers in this situation, nobody comes out ahead.”

An emotional Tetreault addressed the court, accepting responsibility for his crime and apologizing to his mother and family for the pain and embarrassment he has caused.

Tetreault has been in a common law relationship for the past four years. Before being led from the courtroom, he shared a tearful farewell with his partner and her son.

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