Time-served for woman who stole truck with two young kids from Barriere mall - InfoNews

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Time-served for woman who stole truck with two young kids from Barriere mall

June 13, 2018 - 5:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - It took just a few moments for a woman struggling with substance abuse issues to realize the truck she had just stolen had two kids inside.

Denise Redman, 29, stole an unlocked, running truck from a Barriere mall in the early morning hours of Jan. 2, but she made it less than 500 metres before she saw two children under eight years old in the back seat.

She told them not to worry, that she would bring them back and everything would be OK, Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan told Kamloops Supreme Court today, June 13.

Redman pleaded guilty to one count of theft of a motor vehicle and was given a sentence of 30 days.

The kids had been left in the truck for just a moment. Flanagan said their mother and father stopped at a mall in Barriere to pick up something on their way to go ice fishing. While the mother was inside a store, the father realized he had forgotten something and intended to pop in the store just for a moment.

“Ms. Redman, who is present at this mall, she must see the truck, she must see that it's running, there's no driver, she gets into the truck and drives away in the truck," Flanagan said. “She does that not realizing the kids are in the back.”

The children later told police they believed Redman had no idea they were in the vehicle, and she promptly pulled over at a liquor store once she realized they were there. Flanagan said the liquor store was roughly 500 metres away from the mall the family had stopped at.

People in the mall parking lot witnessed what had happened, and when the father came out he was pointed in the direction Redman had went. The father hopped into his brother-in-law's vehicle and the two took off after Redman.

They saw her get out of the vehicle in the liquor store's parking lot and approached her, asking her to stop, Flanagan said. Redman wasn't stopping, so the father tackled her. Police were called and arrived just moments later.

"All of this occurs over less than nine minutes," Flanagan said.

Redman spoke with police after, telling them she had stolen the wrong vehicle that day. Flanagan said she did intend to take the vehicle, but not a vehicle with kids in it.

Flanagan and defence lawyer Sheldon Tate entered a joint submission of a 30-day prison sentence, and because Redman has already been in custody for more than two months, she'll be released today.

"Ms. Redman wants to apologize to the court, and to the parents, and the children and the community for what she has done," Tate said. “She feels so terribly sorry for what they had to endure in that brief period of time.”

Court heard Redman has been on a rough path since losing access to her children, and not seeing them led her to relapse from seven months of sobriety back into hard drugs. She's now on a methadone program and will serve roughly one year on probation where she expects to attend a second-stage housing and treatment facility in the Lower Mainland.

Before being sentenced, Redman took the opportunity to apologize for her actions that January morning.

“I sincerely am sorry for what happened. I think about the children and the family and how it must be hard for them," she said. “I wish that they can move on with their lives with forgiveness, not for me, but for them... I'm really sorry that everything happened that way. If I can write an apology, I would. I pray for them, I pray for the family.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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