‘Rehabilitative’ sentence for selling drugs

A former Lethbridge man who sold drugs to an undercover police officer four years ago has received a “rehabilitative” jail sentence.
Timothy John Pilgrim pleaded guilty Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court to four counts of drug trafficking and received a 90-day sentence that he will be able to serve on weekends.

Federal Crown prosecutor John Oman told court Pilgrim sold small amounts of methamphetamine to an undercover cop in 2015 in order to support his own drug addiction. And although Oman noted a three-month sentence for trafficking is unusual, the sentence reflects the progress Pilgrim has made since the offences.

“It’s meant to be a rehabilitative sentence,” Oman said.

In a letter written by his father and read in court, the judge was told how Pilgrim got involved with the wrong people in Lethbridge, but by mid-2016 he realized his life was heading in the wrong direction and he returned to Calgary and his family. The letter states Pilgrim was able to abandon the destructive lifestyle and get help for his drug addiction.

Lethbridge lawyer Darcy Shurtz explained his client has not had any issues since moving back with his family and continues to see a psychiatrist and receive help. He added if Pilgrim is allowed to serve his sentence on weekends, he will be able to continue treatment and counselling in Calgary.

His father, who attended court Thursday in support of his son, admitted his son’s problems were likely the result of poor parenting.
“But he has made genuine effort in the last three years to get back into society,” his father said.

Pilgrim, who told court he has been an addict for 30 years – since he was 12 years old – also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a weapon knowing its possession is unauthorized, and two counts of failing to appear in court.

Lethbridge police searched a Lethbridge residence May 26, 2016 and found a Taser in Pilgrim’s bedroom and stolen items in other areas of the house. He was sentenced to 30 days for the weapons offence and three days for each of the two charges of failing to attend court, which will be served concurrently with the 90-day sentence.

Although Judge Derek Redman agreed drug trafficking often attracts significant jail time, he also agreed with counsel a shorter, rehabilitative sentence, with some jail time, is appropriate in Pilgrim’s case.

“You’re going to serve a debt to society for what you have done,” he said.

Pilgrim will be on probation for one year, during which he must abstain from alcohol and non-prescription drugs. He is also prohibited from possessing firearms and other weapons.

Article written in the Lethbridge Herald