Gail Benoit is guilty of theft under $5,000 in a case where the Nova Scotia woman stole two dogs from a New Brunswick woman.

But the judge cleared the notorious puppy-broker of charges of fraud and identity fraud. 

Judge Jim Burrill said he did not believe Benoit's testimony. He said she was willing to say anything to advance her cause.

Benoit was accused of stealing two dogs, but she told the court they were given to her. 

"If the woman cared so much for her dogs and I was so-called boarding them, then she should have had something stating that I was taking care of them for a while, or babysitting them, but she had none of that," Benoit said outside of the court. 

"The bitch gave her dog away and then she started hollering theft."

The judge disagreed. 

Benoit, who lives in Dartmouth, responded to a Saint John, N.B., woman's online ad looking for someone to sit her two white boxers, but sold the dogs. 

Benoit earlier refuted the owner's earlier testimony and said the dogs were given to her permanently. She said she and her daughter worked to get the dogs.

"I'm like the brains of the organization," she told the court.

She told the Crown attorney she had difficulty recalling details because she had brain surgery which, she said, caused memory loss. 

Benoit also told the court that she has been subjected to threats online about the case. She said people had written that if someone sees her in a crosswalk, they should run her over.

"Where's my protection?" she asked. 

The dogs' original owner, Cassie Craft, said she dropped the dogs off in November to a person shed met online called Ashley. It turned out to be Benoit, who has been convicted of animal abuse in the past

Benoit will be sentenced on June 2. 

Corrections

  • Gail Benoit had been charged with identity fraud, not identity theft.
    Apr 15, 2014 5:54 PM AT