R. v. McKeown (M.M.), (2015) 615 A.R. 398 (PC)

JudgeBarley, P.C.J.
CourtProvincial Court of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateJuly 15, 2015
Citations(2015), 615 A.R. 398 (PC);2015 ABPC 154

R. v. McKeown (M.M.) (2015), 615 A.R. 398 (PC)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] A.R. TBEd. JL.130

Her Majesty the Queen v. Matthew Michael McKeown (130656036P1; 2015 ABPC 154)

Indexed As: R. v. McKeown (M.M.)

Alberta Provincial Court

Barley, P.C.J.

July 15, 2015.


The accused was convicted at trial of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. He also pled guilty to possession of marijuana. During a search of his home, police found 22 grams of powder cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, over $4,000 in cash in bank notes and over $3,000 in rolled coins. The accused testified that the cocaine was for his personal use. He admitted to being a heavy user and said that he bought cocaine in large quantities. He denied selling it. The trial judge found that the accused was a heavy cocaine user, but that he sold to others as well. The Crown sought a sentence of 30 months in custody, relying on a three year starting point for sale of cocaine on a more than minimal scale, as set out in R. v. Maskell (Alta. C.A.). Defence counsel submitted that this was a case of trafficking on a minimal scale, and that a sentence of one year of custody would be appropriate. The accused was 38 years old at the time of the offence. He had no prior criminal convictions. He was employed in drywall installation and was described as hard working and dependable. He said that he quit cocaine when he was convicted. However, he still used marijuana.

The Alberta Provincial Court stated that "I am unsure how much of the cocaine that was seized from this accused was going to be sold and how much would be consumed by him. ... The sale to five persons on one day indicates that the accused was selling cocaine on a commercial basis on more than a minimal scale. As such, the starting point of three years set out by our Court of Appeal would apply. ... The accused is entitled to credit, however for overcoming his addiction to cocaine. He is otherwise a law abiding citizen, apart from occasional marijuana use. Considering all the factors set out above, I conclude that the proper sentence on this case is two years' imprisonment. There will also be an Order under Section 109 of the Criminal Code".

Criminal Law - Topic 5842.1

Sentencing - Considerations on imposing sentence - Post-conviction or post-charge conduct - See paragraph 23.

Criminal Law - Topic 5849.16

Sentencing - Considerations on imposing sentence - Addicts - See paragraph 23.

Criminal Law - Topic 5850

Sentence - Particular offences - Trafficking in a narcotic or a controlled drug or substance - See paragraphs 1 to 25.

Criminal Law - Topic 5878

Sentence - Possession, cultivation or production of a narcotic or a controlled drug or substance - See paragraphs 1 to 25.


Anita Szabo, Q.C., for the Crown;

Dean Zuk, for the Defence.

This matter was heard before Barley, P.C.J., of the Alberta Provincial Court, who delivered the following judgment on July 15, 2015.

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