Abuse used as excuse

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

I am writing this letter in response to the article; “Three Years for $400K Theft” published Jan. 11.

While I appreciate the fact that the facts about this case make it worth reporting, I find it highly disrespectful that you would print the allegations of this woman, who was obviously attempting to justify her actions and avoid receiving the full punishment for her crimes, and treat them as fact.

Your article states: “In sentencing, Gulbransen considered several factors, including Elliott’s abusive childhood and husband”. This woman offered this ‘history’ as part of her sentencing hearing in order to get her sentence reduced, and I personally find the fact that apparently any person can walk into open court and claim that they have suffered such abuses in their past without offering any proof an outrage.

This woman, through her outlandish and unverified claims, has sullied the good names of outstanding members of our community who have never run afoul of our legal system. I believe the adage is that someone is “innocent until proven guilty”.

As you have identified this woman as a citizen of Port Hardy, there is going to be obvious speculation regarding her family history, especially due to the wording of your article.

I will answer such gossip and speculation with fact: She did not suffer through an abusive marriage. She did not endure an abusive childhood.

Please respect the fact that this woman still has relatives living on the North Island, who were extremely hurt, upset and angered by the allegations that were made in her court hearing, and disregard these statements as manipulations of the legal system by a woman desperate to place the blame for her crimes on anyone other than herself.

Tricia and

Heather Elliott