R v Peers, 2017 Edmonton Queen’s Bench – Securities Fraud, 3 1/2 Year Sentence Upheld

Summary conviction appeal of sentence for fraud and related charges under the Securities Act. Defence sought to reduce 3.5- year sentence imposed by trial judge to 2.5 years. At sentencing, Crown had asked for 2 to 2.5 years’ jail while accused sought 18-month CSO.  Issue on appeal of whether sentencing judge erred in not alerting counsel to his intention to exceed Crown recommendation.

Held: Appeal dismissed.

Ranges proposed by counsel at sentence hearing were not a joint submission. “The argument in this Court that, if the Appellant had known of the sentencing judge’s concern then a joint submission would have been arranged is, of course, highly speculative.” As per Keough, 2012 ABCA 214 merely failing to notify counsel is not itself a reversible error; test is whether sentence was demonstrably unfit. “Although it would clearly have been preferable for the sentencing judge to alert counsel to his concerns, I am on a careful review of the law and the reasoning of the decision as to the assessment of factors and purpose in the sentencing, satisfied that the sentence ought not to be varied.”

 A. Millman – Defence Counsel