CORNER BROOK — A woman’s past history of failing to comply with court orders has landed her a prison term of six months for her latest run-in with the law.
Following a tip provided to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Royal Canadian Mounted Police joint street drug unit, Kayla Moores was arrested at a bar in Deer Lake on Feb. 17, 2011 with roughly seven grams of cocaine contained in half a dozen plastic packets and a coin holder.
Now 29 years old, Moores was engaged in selling cocaine at the time to both finance her own addiction to the drug and to pay her bills. She told police she sold bags weighed with 0.7 grams of cocaine for $100 each and that she had sold two bags earlier in the day on which she was arrested.
She was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, to which she entered a guilty plea on Nov. 20, 2012. Recently, Supreme Court Justice William Goodridge sentenced Moores to six months in prison.
Crown attorney Andrew May had actually asked for between 12 and 24 months incarceration. Defence lawyer Peter Chaffey asked for between six and 12 months of house arrest with strict conditions and followed by 18 months of probation.
While trafficking in any illegal drug is considered a serious offence, sentences for offences involving harder drugs, such as cocaine, do tend to be more severe.
Moores has a criminal record that contains nine prior convictions. One was for assault and another was for assault with a weapon, but it was the seven breaches of court undertakings, breaches of conditions and failures to appear in court that concerned Goodridge the most when contemplating the defence’s request of a conditional sentence.
“These multiple prior breaches of court-imposed conditions or undertakings, although now several years old, reduce my comfort level that Ms. Moores will comply with terms of a conditional sentence order,” Goodridge said in his written decision on this case.
Moores continued using cocaine after her arrest, but not even the fact she did seek help for her addiction in October 2011 and has been clean ever since could sway Goodridge into endorsing a conditional sentence.
“The serious nature of the offence, the historical non-compliance with court conditions and the past lapses in reporting to her probation officer on a consistent basis tend to favour imposition of a jail term rather than chance Ms. Moores’ compliance with a conditional sentence,” said Goodridge. “It is a marginal case, at best, for a conditional sentence.”