Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jan 2003
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
Author: Jane Sims


The 22-Year-Old Woman Pleaded Guilty To Two Drug And Weapon Charges.

A long, sad life of drug addiction landed a 22-year-old woman in a 
penitentiary yesterday.

Brandy Harris was given a two-year sentence and three years of probation 
after pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of 
trafficking and possession of a prohibited weapon -- pepper spray.

"I'm sorry," Harris said softly as she stood in the prisoner's box before 
Ontario Court Justice Ross Webster.

"I'm more concerned about where you are going at age 22," Webster replied. 
"You have a long life ahead of you and this is no way to spend it."

Harris was arrested in October with Elija Askov, 56, of Toronto after 
police saw them leave an east London motel room and drive away in a 

Federal drug prosecutor Tim Zuber testified police searched the car, 
finding an assortment of drugs and weapons.

Harris was seen carrying a beige bag found in the trunk. In it, police 
found methamphetamine, which had been divided into smaller packages for 

Also in the bag were 23 grams of cocaine, 22 grams of hash and other drugs.

Zuber said police also found a debt list in the bag, a calculator, needles, 
spoons, a scale and night-vision glasses.

The rest of the car, which was registered to Askov, was searched and 
$23,150 was found in the wheel well of the trunk.

More drugs also were found.

Zuber asked for a sentence of three to 3 1/2 years.

Harris's lawyer, Richard Sherman, agreed to a penitentiary sentence and 
told the judge of Harris's tragic life of addiction.

Born in Mississippi, Harris came to Canada as a toddler and lived in a 
household of addiction and alcoholism. Her parents split and her mother was 
sent to prison for shooting her stepfather.

At 13, Harris was sent to live with her grandparents in Haliburton but ran 
away and lived in various cities across the province.

She was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance of her stepfather.

Her drug use escalated and she has never worked. She recently miscarried 
and has used marijuana, hashish and speed on a regular basis.

About a year ago, Harris was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance and has a 
control or impulse disorder.

"It's a wonder she isn't dead," Sherman said.

Harris indicated she wanted to do her time in Kingston because her mother, 
who has turned her life around, works there for Corrections Canada, the 
lawyer said.

Askov made national headlines in 1991 when his case became a precedent 
because of a long court delay.

His case and 50,000 others were thrown out because they were all more than 
eight months old and had not been heard.

Askov is to appear in court Monday on the recent charges and is awaiting trial.

"I wouldn't want to wait too long on that one," Webster noted.
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