Former Chatham-Kent police officer apologizes to fraud victims
A former Chatham-Kent police officer, who admitted to defrauding dozens of people of thousands of dollars, will be sentenced in September.
Robert Mugridge, 52, appeared in court Friday for sentencing submissions and apologized to his victims and his family.
Mugridge told the court that he never intended for this to happen and that' "it was always my intention to pay everyone back."
Mugridge pleaded guilty last August to a single count of fraud that encompassed several cases of fraud over $5,000.
Court heard Mugridge wanted to provide a good life for his family, but lived beyond his means.
Defence lawyer Lucas O'Hara says his debts grew out of control and began to borrow money. Over a five-year period – from January 2009 to December 2014-- Mugridge fraudulently obtained loans from 46 individuals totaling $247,000.
Court also heard on nine separate occasions, he obtained the loans while in full police uniform, and two other times in meetings at the police station.
He told people he needed the money to help his sister pay for children's education, and keep up with his wife's extravagant lifestyle.
“In order to keep up his facade, he had to be consistent. He had to maintain those lies,” said Assistant crown attorney Adam Campbell. “He would do this year after year, borrowing money from others to pay others who were more demanding."
Campbell also said Mugridge used his standing as a veteran of the Chatham police force as “an instrument for his fraud, and he gained access by relying on this trust.”
Campbell is asking for a 12-to-15 month jail term followed by probation. Campbell is also asking the judge for a restitution order to have Mugridge pay back $115,000 still outstanding.
The defense is asking for a conditional sentence.
A judge will hand down the sentence on September 17.