R. v. Swaine (P.A.), (2015) 364 N.S.R.(2d) 394 (SC)

Judge:Chipman, J.
Court:Supreme Court of Nova Scotia
Case Date:September 18, 2015
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:(2015), 364 N.S.R.(2d) 394 (SC);2015 NSSC 265
 
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R. v. Swaine (P.A.) (2015), 364 N.S.R.(2d) 394 (SC);

    1146 A.P.R. 394

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Temp. Cite: [2015] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. SE.037

Her Majesty the Queen v. Patrick Arthur Swaine

(CRY No. 427728; 2015 NSSC 265)

Indexed As: R. v. Swaine (P.A.)

Nova Scotia Supreme Court

Chipman, J.

September 18, 2015.

Summary:

The accused pleaded guilty to production of marijuana and was convicted by a jury of possession of a controlled substance (hydromorphone) for the purpose of trafficking. The Crown sought 30 months' imprisonment. The accused sought a more lenient sentence involving a period of house arrest.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court sentenced the accused to 24 months' imprisonment for possession of hydromorphone for the purpose of trafficking and three months' imprisonment (concurrent) for production of marijuana.

Criminal Law - Topic 5720.4

Punishments (sentence) - Conditional sentence - When available or appropriate - [See Criminal Law - Topic 5850 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 5830.8

Sentencing - Considerations on imposing sentence - Drug and narcotic offences - [See Criminal Law - Topic 5850 ].

Criminal Law - Topic 5850

Sentence - Trafficking in a narcotic or a controlled drug or substance (incl. possession for the purpose of trafficking) - The 37 year old accused pleaded guilty to production of marijuana and was convicted by a jury of possession of a controlled substance (hydromorphone) for the purpose of trafficking - The accused broke his foot around 2006 and became addicted to pain medications - He was currently living on social assistance, supplemented by sporadic casual employment - Since 2013, he had been part of a methadone program for his drug addiction - The accused had a 1995 conviction for break and enter and a 1998 conviction for possession of a controlled substance - The Crown sought imprisonment - The accused sought a lenient sentence involving house arrest - The Nova Scotia Supreme Court sentenced the accused to 24 months' imprisonment for possession of hydromorphone for the purpose of trafficking and three months' imprisonment (concurrent) for production of marijuana - While the accused was an unsophisticated petty retailer, the prescription drug trade destroyed lives in the community - Deterrence was necessary to send a message that trafficking in such addictive prescription drugs should be treated no differently than cocaine and that petty retailers would pay a price for engaging in this "despicable business" - A conditional sentence was not appropriate.

Criminal Law - Topic 5878

Sentence - Possession, cultivation or production of a narcotic or a controlled drug or substance - [See Criminal Law - Topic 5850 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Carter (A.W.), [2004] N.S.R.(2d) Uned. 138; 2004 NSSC 256, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Knickle (N.A.) (2009), 277 N.S.R.(2d) 392; 882 A.P.R. 392; 2009 NSCA 59, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Conway (M.F.) (2009), 282 N.S.R.(2d) 154; 895 A.P.R. 154; 2009 NSCA 95, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Scott (J.J.) (2013), 327 N.S.R.(2d) 256; 1036 A.P.R. 256; 2013 NSCA 28, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Jamieson (F.O.) (2011), 310 N.S.R.(2d) 392; 983 A.P.R. 392; 2011 NSCA 122, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Robinson (F.) (2012), 313 N.S.R.(2d) 41; 990 A.P.R. 41; 2012 NSPC 12, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Calder (A.) (2012), 312 N.S.R.(2d) 1; 987 A.P.R. 1; 2012 NSCA 3, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Scott (J.J.) (2012), 313 N.S.R.(2d) 68; 990 A.P.R. 68; 2012 NSPC 6, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Roper (C.J.), [2011] O.A.C. Uned. 442; 2011 ONCA 479, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. McIntyre (S.) (2004), 275 N.B.R.(2d) 131; 722 A.P.R. 131; 2004 NBPC 14, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Nguyen (Q.) (2007), 254 N.S.R.(2d) 152; 810 A.P.R. 152; 2007 NSSC 134, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. O'Flaherty (P.F.) (2004), 233 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 224; 693 A.P.R. 224; 2004 NLSCTD 4, refd to. [para. 3].

R. v. Oldham (W.), [2012] N.S.R.(2d) Uned. 225; 2012 NSSC 326, refd to. [para. 4].

R. v. Fifield (1978), 25 N.S.R.(2d) 407; 36 A.P.R. 407 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 23].

Counsel:

Joshua E. Bryson, for the Crown;

R.K. Murray Judge, for the accused.

This matter was heard on June 15-17, 2015, at Shelburne, N.S., before Chipman, J., of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, who delivered the following judgment orally on September 18, 2015.

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