September 25th, 2018

Court Briefs: Lenient sentence with stiff warning for woman on bottom rung of dial-a-dope scheme

By Peggy Revell on December 22, 2017.

A Medicine Hat woman was given a 290-day jail sentence Thursday for her role selling meth in a dial-a-dope scheme.

“I gave you a break, for the time being,” said Judge Gordan Krinke Thursday at the Medicine Hat Courthouse, warning Carolyn Matthews that if she ever comes back before the court again for trafficking, chances are she’ll do time in a federal penitentiary.

Of the 290 days, 200 have been deemed time served. She will be allowed to serve the remaining 90 days on weekends. As well, she will also be on probation for two years, receiving counselling for drug addiction and mental health.

Matthews pled guilty to one count of trafficking and two breaches that stem from April 2016 when police were investigating another individual for trafficking cocaine and meth. Undercover officers arranged to purchase $200 in meth by text, ultimately meeting with Matthews to make the exchange.

At the time of her arrest, the court heard Matthews had no criminal record. She had been in a car accident in 2014, which “led to a downward spiral,” as the judge characterized.

The woman became homeless, depressed and began hanging around a negative peer group, said defence, participating in selling the meth so she could purchase her own drugs. The woman is now associating with more positive people, defence said, and has family support.

“Yes she’s a cog in a dial-a-dope scheme … but she’s the lowest cog, she runs the most risk,” said Krinke, noting Matthews appeared to be naive and unsophisticated as she provided personal information about where she lived to undercover officers.

In the Matthew’s presentencing report, a friend said she was a “quirky, hippy girl who is generous and caring and kind,” said Krinke said, but this does not equate with trafficking drugs. Meth is a “scourge in this city” Krinke added, warning her that if her addiction leads her to selling, she is contributing to the problem.

Assault and arson victim

A stay of proceedings was entered by the Federal Crown Thursday for a woman facing a drug trafficking charge, but who was also the victim of an assault and arson at a residence in the Flats in October.

Although the injuries sustained by the 32-year-old woman are not life threatening, she remains in care at a Calgary hospital and expected to remain there for a lengthy time.

The accused, Chad Stadnicki of Medicine Hat, had a brief court appearance Wednesday, with his counsel requesting an adjournment to Jan. 4, as they set up dates for a multi-day trial.

The 41-year-old man remains in custody at the Medicine Hat Remand Centre, with defence counsel working on preparing submissions for a bail hearing in the new year.

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