Crown seeks 3½-year sentence for Ndilo woman convicted of drug trafficking

58-year-old Mary Anne Lafferty will have to wait a week to find out what her fate will be after being convicted for drug trafficking.

Mary Anne Lafferty was found guilty of 8 charges by N.W.T. Supreme Court jury

Mary Anne Lafferty is seen outside the Yellowknife courthouse during her trial in September. A jury found her guilty of eight drug-trafficking charges. (Michael Hugall/CBC)

Mary Anne Lafferty will have to wait a week to find out what her fate will be, after being convicted for drug trafficking.

During a sentencing hearing in N.W.T. Supreme Court on Friday, Crown prosecutor Duane Praught said he is asking for 3½ years of jail time for the 58-year-old, who was convicted by a 12-person jury in September.

Although Lafferty is facing jail time for eight counts of possessing cocaine, MDMA, marijuana and codeine for the purpose of trafficking, her mother, Vitaline Lafferty, 79, was acquitted of the same charges.

The women, both from Ndilo, N.W.T., were charged after they were pulled over at an RCMP checkstop near Fort Providence, N.W.T., in 2016.

RCMP confiscated 5.4 kilograms of marijuana, 1.7 kilograms of cocaine, about three ounces of MDMA and five litres of cough syrup from a car the women had been driving.

In court, Praught said Mary Anne Lafferty grew up in a home with domestic violence and alcoholism, and that cycle continued into her adult life.

She also had her own troubles with alcohol, but Praught said she's only had one drink in two years and has attended workshops on physical and emotional abuse and alcohol abuse.

He said she's also seen a counsellor.

Lafferty's defence attorney, Thomas Boyd, told court his client is a "textbook example" of the misfortunes that Indigenous people have experienced.

He said she was the one who often took care of her siblings, and that after she was sent off to residential school, her siblings thought that she was actually their mom and had abandoned them.

"Mrs. Lafferty seemed to have a dysfunctional life from the beginning … and never gained traction," he said.

Defence asks for lighter sentence

Boyd asked the judge for a sentence of 30 months.

He also said Lafferty doesn't appear to have knowledge of wholesale drug trafficking.

Boyd read letters of support from a former spouse and her son, who said she had been helping with his children and that she has a place to stay when she's released.

But Lafferty began to uncontrollably sob when he began to read a letter that came from her daughter, Katrina Stiopu.

The court then adjourned for a brief break with Mary Anne crying and exclaiming, "I hate lying lawyers. They just lie."

Justice Shannon Smallwood said she would like the sentencing hearing to resume Nov. 15 at 10 a.m.