June 07, 2016 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops Supreme Court Judge says he has no reason to believe the public won't be at risk if a mother involved in a dial-a-dope ring is let back into society immediately, and sentenced her to six months behind bars.
Judge Gary Weatherill and accused Donna Davidson exchanged heated words in a Kamloops Supreme Courtroom yesterday, June 6. Defence, Crown and the judge had all agreed Davidson made no effort to clean herself up after being caught dealing drugs to undercover officers nearly three years ago.
Crown lawyer Anthony Varesi told the court that on Sept. 11, 2013, undercover officers approached a man on Tranquille Road and asked for crystal meth. He gave them an address to go to on Poplar Street in the North Shore.
The officers called the residence asking for cocaine, and they were asked to meet the dealer at Overlanders Bridge.
Varesi read in his submissions that Davidson rode up on her bike to meet them, and sold officers .5 grams of meth for $40. They told Davidson they wanted more, so she invited them back to the Poplar Street residence where she weighed out another .5 grams.
Her lawyer, Chris Thompson, responded to Crown, saying the incident "paints a troubling picture of an addict who sells drugs to support an addiction." He then told the court Davidson is 39 years old, unemployed, not on social assistance, and is currently supporting her 12-year-old son.
"Many people have tried to help Ms. Davidson," Weatherill said. "Ms. Davidson refuses to help herself."
Thompson asked the judge to consider a sentence less than six months, which is generally the minimal sentence for an offence of this nature. He instead wanted the judge to focus on a probation term which would include treatment. But Weatherill said that likely wasn't possible.
"I confess when I read the pre-sentencing report I was troubled with the apparent lack of any attempt to receive rehab," Weatherill said to Davidson.
"It's not really an addiction to drugs," Davidson responded. "It's an addiction to paying my rent."
That's when the heated debate sparked.
"What kind of life is that for a 12-year-old?" Weatherill asked. "You're effectively throwing your hands up saying 'I don't care, I need to pay my rent.' If something doesn't happen now, in five years from now, 10 years from now, it's going to be the same. There are far worse people out there, but we're dealing with you today."
"It's hard for me to leave a job without stepping into another job," Davidson said.
"You're going to be 40 soon... and it's time to help you," Weatherill responded. "As hard as it is for me, Ms. Davidson, I must sentence you to a period of incarceration for six months."
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