Nova Scotia

Drug-trafficking lawyer sent to prison

Anne Calder, a Halifax lawyer convicted of smuggling drugs to a client in jail, has been sentenced to 2½ years behind bars.
Anne Calder (left) and her mother Betty arrive in a Halifax court on Friday. ((CBC))
Anne Calder, a Halifax lawyer convicted of smuggling drugs to a client in jail, has been sentenced to 2½ years behind bars.

The sentence of 30 months means the 57-year-old former Crown attorney will spend time in a federal prison, not a provincial jail.

Calder wept as Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Kevin Coady handed down her sentence on Friday.

"She knew what she was doing and she knew that it was wrong," he said.

Before Coady read his sentence, he asked Calder if she had anything to say.

"I desperately need to get back to being a contributing member of society," Calder told the court.

"I've been punished so much, there's not a lot more that you can do."

Prosecutor Paul Adams recommended a sentence of three to four years, saying Calder's actions amounted to a "breach of trust."

Defence lawyer Craig Garson said a conditional sentence was more appropriate because his client had "nothing left to lose." He said she lost her job and reputation and needs medical help due to a major depressive disorder.

Garson read a statement from Calder's 87-year-old mother, Betty Calder.

"Whatever you sentence her, you will also be sentencing me," the elder Calder wrote.

"I depend on her so much, especially for her company."

Calder was caught on tape smuggling drugs to her client, Thomas Izzard (left) at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.
Calder was found guilty in March on three counts of trafficking hydromorphone, the prescription painkiller Dilaudid, in 2009.

In one case, she smuggled the drug to client Thomas Izzard at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth. The other two charges relate to drugs police found when they searched her home office.

Calder claimed she thought the package she brought to Izzard contained tobacco, even though tobacco is also considered a contraband item. During the trial, she described her behaviour as "stupidly naive."

The drug handover at the jail was caught on surveillance tape.

Calder voluntarily stopped practising law in 2009, following the allegations. The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society is still investigating her conduct in this case, and several others.

She has already served notice she will appeal her conviction.

With files from The Canadian Press