A Merritt father who forged a signature to withdraw his children’s education funds must pay half the money back in restitution and serve six months of house arrest.
Lee Woods pleaded guilty to using a forged document.
Crown lawyer Chris Balison said Woods forged the signature of his ex-wife Sabrina in order to withdraw $4,700 set aside in an educational trust fund for the couple’s two boys, aged 12 and nine years.
The fund for the boys’ future post-secondary education allowed withdrawals but required both parents’ signatures. The withdrawal incurred an administrative charge and loss of government grants.
Defence lawyer Don Campbell said Woods’ actions came during an embittered marital split.
“Mr. Woods found himself in a financially untenable situation. He was left with the bills and an emptied joint account of $25,000 that was sent to her family in Singapore.”
Campbell said Woods’ ex-wife was attempting to leave with the children to Singapore. A court order is now in place allowing him access to his children.
“He’s now seeing his boys and has a good relationship with them.”
Calling it a breach of trust, B.C. Supreme Court justice Dev Dley gave the truck driver a six-month conditional sentence, including a 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew restricting him to his home unless for work.
Woods has a dated criminal record for assault and sexual assault.
He must also avoid alcohol or drugs and pay back half of the $4,700 — representing his ex-wife’s contribution to the fund.
“I believe in my kids’ education,” Woods said in court prior to his sentencing. “I did have a lot of debt, money that went for her. I’d like to get it back to my kids’ fund.”