Accused appealed his 18 month sentence for selling 1g of cocaine to an undercover officer on two occasions. PSR not positive. Issue on appeal regarding the impact of appellant’s numerous mental health and addiction difficulties on sentence. Trial judge relied on Verwindt, 2016 ABPC 70 regarding two bases for mental health to be mitigating: if it contributed to the commission of the offence, or would make a custodial sentence more onerous.

Held: Appeal dismissed.

Authorities reviewed. “[T]he operational influence of an offender’s mental health challenges is not without significance in this case when coupled with the factor of addiction…it would not be correct to reflexively dismiss out of hand such circumstances merely because the offender is somehow managing in life”. However, the sentencing judge did not completely disregard these circumstances, and in light of PSR he did not err in his conclusion that the appellant’s personal factors did not warrant further departure from the 3-year starting point.


Vern Eichorn, Duty Counsel for Appellant