Fifteen months in jail for robbery was too long, according to the Alberta Court of Appeals, after a judge imposed a longer sentence than the Crown sought for a Stettler woman.
A panel of three appeal court justices reduced the sentence of Brandy Cristine Carl, 37, by three months in a decision released on Wednesday.
Carl pleaded guilty in March 2015 to charges of robbery, failing to attend court and hit and run. She received a global sentence of 16 months and 21 days in custody, 15 months for the robbery charge alone.
In the ruling, the appeal court noted that Carl had a crack cocaine addiction and was “out of control while she chased all possible sources to obtain more cocaine.” She had five prior convictions, all relating to attempts to feed the addiction.
“That addiction has taken over her life and left her unable to manage.”
Upon her conviction, the Crown prosecutor sought a sentence of 12 months for the robbery charge. Judge David Plosz, who presided over her sentencing, instead imposed a sentence of 15 months for the robbery charge.
Although she was sentenced to 16 months and 21 days on all the charges, she was given credit for 150 days of pre-conviction custody.
“We understand the trial judge’s motivation in imposing that enhanced sentence and we do not fault him for that,” reads the decision.
“He was concerned that the appellant was completely out of control. But now we are dealing with the situation seven months on, four months from the date of sentence and we think that the concern which motivated the trial judge to impose a sentence of 15 months, rather than the 12 months sought by the Crown, has been addressed.
“Accordingly, in the unique circumstances of this case we will reduce the sentence by those three months, but to that extent only.”
Although the sentence was reduced, the appeal court panel said they see no defect in the sentencing process, or in the global sentence that resulted.
On April 6, 2014, Carl went to a Stettler convenience store with a knife and demanded money.
The clerk told her the money was locked up and could not be produced. Carl took two cartons of cigarettes and left. She was arrested a few days later.