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Tom Rees | Criminal Defence Lawyer Winnipeg

30 months of custody for 10 counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking

A Manitoba woman received 30 months of custody after being convicted of 10 counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of proceeds of crime.

[1]            In November 2013, I convicted Ms. Pilkington of 10 counts of possession for the purposes of trafficking a variety of pharmaceutical drugs, some of which fall under Schedule I and the balance under Schedule IV of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C. 1996, c. 19 (the “CDSA“).  Included in the former is oxycodone, morphine, percocet, and hydromorphone; in the latter, diazepam, lorazepam, temazepam, and alprazolam.  The street value of the drugs is just under $20,000.  I also convicted Ms. Pilkington of one count of possess proceeds of crime in the amount of $15,520.  The drugs and money were seized either from her person when arrested, or found in her residence on College Avenue, in February 2009.

The Court stressed deterrence and denunciation as the primary sentencing factors and discussed the seriousness of “Schedule I” substances. The Judge included the following:

[12]        The total cost to Canadian society of addictions was estimated to be approximately $40 billion in 2002.  This includes health-related costs, law enforcement, workplace absences, and others.  Between 1999 and 2009 illegal drugs, including non-prescription opioids and benzodiazepines, made up approximately 20% of emergency room visits.  Prescriptions for benzodiazepines doubled in this period and it is estimated that there was a 460% increase in the number of prescriptions for opioids.

The court decided that the accused was not a likely candidate for rehabilitation on the finding that she was not accepting responsibility for the offences. The court also reviewed some case law:

[32]        The cases relied on by both Crown and defence, taken together, show that the positions of each fall within the range of sentences imposed for street level pharmaceutical dealers found with substantial quantities of drugs and cash.  In Manitoba, the range of sentences for street level dealing in cocaine runs from two years less a day to more than four and one-half years’ imprisonment (see R. v. Kunicki, 2014 MBCA 22 (CanLII), 303 Man.R. (2d) 278).

[33]        However, those cases where a period of imprisonment was within the area of two years involved considerably less amounts of drugs or money (R. v. Monaghan, 2013 MBCA 87 (CanLII)); or factors that weighed in the offender’s favour, such as no prior record, an early guilty plea or evidence of rehabilitation (R. v. Grammatikos, 2013 MBQB 44 (CanLII), 290 Man.R. (2d) 18; R. v. Paper, 2010 ONCJ 88 (CanLII); R. v. Roche, [2011] N.J. No. 430 (QL); R. v. Dormevil, 2011 ONCJ 323 (CanLII); R. v. Pelkey, 2012 ONSC 648 (CanLII)).

The court sentenced her to 30 months of custody and $1100 victim surcharge. The court gave the accused 12 months after being released from the federal penitentiary to pay the surcharge stating:

While Ms. Pilkington will be incarcerated during this time, up until at least today, she is in receipt of an income and she also has assets.  I, therefore, do not consider it appropriate to waive this aspect of the sentence.

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