Crown appeal from sentence of 168 days jail (resulting in 90 days intermittent after credit for pretrial custody) for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. 5.3 g of cocaine with $540 street value. Mitigating factors included guilty plea, family support, genuine remorse, enrolment in education, and desire for addictions treatment. 21-year-old accused with no prior record and Gladue factors.

Held: Appeal allowed; 12 months’ jail substituted.

Sentence was demonstrably unfit. Per Corbiere, 2017 ABCA 164 and other authorities, 12-month sentence was the minimum fit period of jail in these circumstances. While sentencing judge “made passing reference to the three year starting point and primary goals of denunciation and deterrence, she did not address how those goals would be achieved with a 90-day intermittent sentence. Rather, she fashioned a sentence so as to avoid the risks arising from typical imprisonment”.

A. Millman – Defence Counsel