Man's charges dropped to avoid deportation

Patrick Bentley is pictured outside of the courthouse in Barrie, Ont. (Tracy McLaughlin/QMI Agency)

Patrick Bentley is pictured outside of the courthouse in Barrie, Ont. (Tracy McLaughlin/QMI Agency)

Tracy McLaughlin, Special to Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

BARRIE, Ont. - A Provincial Court judge questioned a decision by the Barrie Crown attorney to withdraw 26 counterfeit money charges against a Brampton man so he wouldn’t be deported.

Patrick Bentley, 29, who has a criminal record for robbery, theft and assault, had all 26 counts of uttering counterfeit money dropped last June because a conviction would have had him sent back to Jamaica, court heard. During Bentley’s bail hearing, the Crown said organized crime was suspected.

Bentley’s wife, Beth-Ann Gosling, 29, was sentenced to one month in jail Wednesday for the same offences.

Gosling was jointly charged with Bentley but the Crown wrapped up her 26 charges into one single count.

They were arrested in Barrie last March after police had them under surveillance. Bentley would wait in a getaway van with their three young children while Gosling, who is on welfare and expecting another baby, would go into stores to buy items with fake $100 bills and get the change.

They were pulled over in their van after leaving the Bayfield Mall and caught with $710 cash and several prepaid credit cards.

For months, the couple pulled the same stunt in stores in Barrie, Bolton, Bradford, Newmarket, Markham, Beeton and Brampton, court heard.

“Uttering counterfeit money is a serious offence that goes right to the heart of the economic stability in Canada,” Justice James Crawford said. “I can only guess at the total amount.”


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