A St. Andrews woman has been sentenced to seven months of house arrest and ordered to repay more than $20,000 after confessing to stealing from her sister's veterinary practice.  

Barbara Cody was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to a charge of theft over $5,000.  

The $20,745 in restitution combines the approximately $8,000 that Cody admitted to stealing, plus compensation for $12,000 in audit costs which the practice had to incur to correct the books and find the irregularities.  

Cody went to work for her sister, Sandra Holdway and her husband Roger Hoar, at St. Andrew's Veterinary Hospital in 1992 as their bookkeeper.  

In 2007, Hoar and Holdway discovered a short in the cash deposit. That prompted a nine-year audit of the veterinary hospital's books.

The case went to trial in June and ran for four days until Cody confessed.

Cody told the court she was sorry for what she did, but said she did it to help her daughter, who required medical attention.

Holdway said the ordeal has taken a terrible toll on her family.

"Well the betrayal is terrible. I don't know, I was angry at first... I went through a whole grieving process," she said, "Really, I mean it's been going on for five years I've been dealing with the anger and the embarrassment of being taken advantage of."

Holdway said she is looking forward to getting her life back, but she said she has regrets.

Her sister lives just down the street but they haven't spoken in two years.

Holdway said her parents are also estranged, saying they won't forgive her for calling the police on their other daughter.

The Crown did not ask for jail time, but the judge said the law requires some incarceration time for such a breach of trust.