‘Unreasonable delay’ ends White Rock fraud trial

Proceedings against a Surrey woman who was accused more than three years ago of defrauding a White Rock company have been halted.

Proceedings against a Surrey woman who was accused more than three years ago of defrauding a White Rock company have been halted.

Prosecutor Richard Li confirmed Wednesday that a judicial stay of proceedings was entered Tuesday morning in Surrey Provincial Court, in the case against Karen Ann Chura.

Defence counsel applied for the stay on the basis of unreasonable delay, Li said.

“After extensive review, while Crown did not agree with counsel’s attribution of time, Crown conceded that the file had accumulated sufficient delay to render it unreasonable,” Li told Peace Arch News by email.

Chura was arrested in February 2013.

At that time, police alleged a 53-year-old Clayton resident wrote cheques to herself from a company account but with no associated invoices.

In the years that followed, trial dates were set four times: for September 2014, then February 2015, then November 2015 and finally April 2016, with one delay attributed to unanticipated disclosure from a witness, and another to Chura changing her defence counsel.

In April, while the trial did get underway – and Chura entered a not-guilty plea – it was adjourned on the second day, and had been scheduled to continue on Oct. 11.

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