Pubdate: Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Source: Sudbury Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Osprey Media
Author: Harold Carmichael
Page: A1


A 22-year-old Sudbury man will learn Dec. 6 how long he is going to
jail, if at all, for selling a drug that contributed to another man's

"Given the uniqueness of the case, it isn't possible for me to do this
(give a sentencing decision) today," Ontario Court Justice Randall
Lalande said about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday after a multi-hour sentencing
hearing for David Mealey.

Mealey pleaded guilty back on July 11 to a charge of trafficking MDA,
a derivative of the Ecstasy drug. A pre-sentence report was ordered.

Federal prosecutor Laura Goulet is seeking an 18-month jail term and
probation along with a 10-year weapons ban, and forfeiture of three
cellphones and a digital scale found in Mealey's possession when he
was arrested. Goulet also requested that Mealey provide a genetic
sample to the national DNA databank.

Defence lawyer Alex Toffoli, in contrast, suggested a penalty with no
jail but lengthy probation, including a curfew in the first year and
140 hours of community service, or six months jail. Mealey has no
prior record and is not in custody.

Andrew St. Jean, 24, bought 1.5 grams of powdered MDA from Mealey on
Aug. 9, 2016, the court has heard. He snorted .75 grams of it about 10
p.m. the next night at a friend's residence. Not long after, St. Jean
said he was not feeling well and was turning blue, but told a few
other people to go on to a bar and enjoy themselves and he would stay
behind to rest. The group left in St. Jean's car.

When the party returned about 2 a.m., they found St. Jean in a coma.
He was taken to hospital, where he later died.

A post-mortem determined the cause of death was an adverse reaction to
MDA. MDA is a Schedule 1 or hard drug under the Controlled Drugs and
Substances Act.

A conditional sentence (house arrest with strict conditions) is not
available as a penalty at sentencing for offences involving the drug.

When Greater Sudbury Police checked St. Jean's telephone, they found
texts between him and Mealey.

Toffoli said that while Mealey sold MDA to St. Jean, it was an
unfortunate series of events that led to St. Jean's death. Toffoli
said a University of Toronto pharmacology professor he consulted said
St. Jean would likely have survived had he been given medical
attention when he first felt ill.

The lawyer also noted that prior to ingesting the MDA, St. Jean
googled the drug on his smartphone and looked at a Wikipedia entry.
Checking that same link, said Toffoli, turns up the fact that the odds
of death by using the drug is two per 100,000 users. "It's only
relevant because he looked up the cause of effects of MDA," said the
lawyer. "When he nasally ingested it, he had seen the fatality rate
for ingestion as extremely low."

Toffoli said given Mealey had no prior record, is working, was 21 when
the drug was sold, and the amount of drug involved was small, a
lengthy prison term should not result.

"Mr. Mealey is not charged with criminal negligence," said the lawyer.
"He is not charged with murder. He is not charged with homicide. He is
being charged for trafficking and is a first offender. The forefront
of our discussion should be he pleaded to trafficking and we are not
sentencing him for a death."

Toffoli also noted that the toxicology report found only MDA in St.
Jean's system and no other drugs. He added the MDA had not been cut
with other substances.

"If someone had only thought to help this man by making one call (for
an ambulance), we wouldn't be here," added the lawyer. "

In her sentencing submission, Goulet said the bottom line in
sentencing is that "David Mealey did sell the drug to Andrew St. Jean.
Andrew St. Jean took the drug and Andrew St. Jean died."

Goulet said there were no exceptional circumstances concerning Mealey
to spare him a jail term for the conviction.

"He is not furthering his education," she said. "He is not active in
the community. He doesn't have any volunteer work he is involved in.
In his leisure time, he stays at his home and listens to music and
smokes cigarettes. He also advises the writer (of the pre-sentence
report) he uses marijuana in the mornings and evenings."

The prosecutor said it didn't appear that Goulet is facing his
problems. "He is not interested in counselling. This is not
encouraging and this is not a person who is taking any steps toward
his own rehabilitation ... I would suggest the only just sentence for
this offender in this particular case is imprisonment."

Through a closed-circuit television link with a Belleville courtroom,
two members of St. Jean's family -- his mother Carrie-Ann Rogers and
step-mother Lindsay Rogers -- read their victim impact statements to
the Sudbury court.

Carrie-Ann Rogers said her son's sudden death has devastated her and
her family, producing insomnia, a lost job and even hospitalization
for one member.

"You stole all of my hopes and dreams - assist him with the wedding he
was planning, the dream of pursuing a career as a dentist, and the
family plans he was planning," she told Mealey. "With him went a piece
of me I will never get back. His birthday (this past summer) was a
reminder he will be forever 24 ...When Andrew died, I died with him.
Andrew has two young sons who will grow up without their father ...
Mr. Mealey, every time you sell a drug, you are putting lives at risk.
Is this the risk you want to continue to take?"

Lindsay Rogers said St. Jean was a special man.

"Andrew was a rock," she said. "He was always there for his family. He
wanted to fulfill his dream of becoming a dentist. Now, that will
never happen. Why did you have to sell MDA to Andrew? He had never
taken MDA in the past. Didn't you know that? Did you care? Andrew
impacted the lives of so many people in his short time on Earth. He
will never be forgotten.

Fiancee Kristin Lepage, who attended court in Sudbury, said in her
victim impact statement that drug trafficking kills people.

"It happens more often that you would think that a drug overdose takes
a person's life," she said. "Drug trafficking has changed my life
forever, not because I bought drugs, but because it ended the life of
the man I was engaged to. Andrew and I were supposed to move to
Winnipeg where he would pursue a career as a dentist and we would
start a family. I not only lost a fiance, but I lost my friend and
soulmate ... If we don't do something about drugs like this, it's
going to become an epidemic."

A total of five victim impact statements were entered as exhibits

Mealey did not address Lalande on Wednesday. That will happen on Dec.

A breach of bail charge laid on Oct. 1 that Mealey is also facing is
not being dealt with at the sentencing hearing.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt