Court hears Ayangma appeal on drug conviction

Jim Day
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Court appears Ayangma appeal on drug conviction

A convicted drug trafficker represented himself — sort of — in an appeal hearing Wednesday.

Sebastien Didier Ayangma argued his case before the P.E.I. Court of Appeal with heavy assistance from his father, Noel Ayangma, who is no stranger to tackling legal matters in court.

Even though the P.E.I. Court of Appeal denied in late December Sebastien's application to have his father as his agent representing him in the appeal hearing, Noel still managed to make his presence felt.

Sebastien informed the panel of three Supreme Court judges, led by Chief Justice David Jenkins, that his father prepared his statement of defence.

And throughout the afternoon in court, Sebastien continually looked back over his shoulder to get direction from his father, who was seated in the first row of the gallery. Sebastien did not have a lawyer by his side.

The judges seemed willing to humour the coaching relationship between father and son with the exception of one occasion when Jenkins told Noel to "stop talking.''

Sebastien put forward a number of arguments in hopes of winning an appeal on conviction of four counts of trafficking cocaine.

Sebastien told the court police did not have reasonable grounds to suspect he was trafficking drugs before engaging a police agent in a sting operation.

Much of the Crown's case against Sebastien was based on evidence presented by the police agent who purchased drugs.

Sebastien sold cocaine to the agent on four occasions between Dec. 31, 2012 and Jan. 9, 2014.

Griping about being saddled with "incompetent council'' during his trial, Sebastien also argued his conviction should be overturned based on inadequate disclosure.

He also argued his 30-month prison sentence was too harsh when compared with similar cases.

Jenkins suggested some of Sebastien's arguments would have better been raised during the trial rather than at the appeal hearing.

Crown attorney Monica McQueen argued the sentence "is not out of the range of reasonable sentences''.

She noted the trial judge, Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell, made reasoned assessment of numerous relevant cases in sentencing Sebastien to 30 months in jail.

Crown attorney Jan Murray told the court the appellant failed to provide any argument that would refute reasonable suspicion was established by police.

She said police had "ample grounds'' to focus attention on Sebastien as a likely drug trafficker.

Ayangma was among dozens of suspected drug traffickers rounded up by police in January of 2014 as part of Operation Clean Sweep, an operation that netted close to $400,000 in illegal drugs.

Jenkins said a written decision would be delivered in the spring.

"You've given us a lot to think about,'' he told Sebastien.


Organizations: P.E.I. Court, Supreme Court

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Recent comments

  • jacintqa
    February 12, 2016 - 17:16

    Sebastian is his own worst enemy this story has nothing to do with the guardian. Sabby is guilty, I heard the evidence, he tries to deflect the blame but guess what you do the crime you do the time.

  • Sean
    February 12, 2016 - 10:58

    What does the way he was represented in court have anything to do with the appeal? The Guardian loves to personally attack this family and make news out of nothing.

  • townie2
    February 12, 2016 - 09:00

    i would hardly call selling drugs to an undercover officer four times being set up, once, yes maybe, but not four times. don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

  • BB
    February 11, 2016 - 20:28

    Even with a previous record he has the right to a free trial. If he was an addict and was accused of selling to feed his addiction, he would have received a slap on the wrist. Sab is not an addict though, instead he is an athlete and student who will eventually be more successful than many islanders. I'm not saying he wasn't involved in shady business but he always tried to keep his own nose clean, he was just the guy who knew the people. Cops always were out to get him and they set him up to hang himself.

  • LOL
    February 11, 2016 - 17:33

    Let's get one thing clear, PEI is by far and wide the most racist and bigoted province in Canada. If you think otherwise, than you are part of the problem.

    • jill
      February 11, 2016 - 20:29

      Don't listen to this fool. This province was the first to elect a non European descent premier, first to elect a woman as premier and elected an open gay as premier. Don't listen to this fool.

    • Bob Up
      February 12, 2016 - 05:44

      Wow another oh the world is against me, my feeling are hurt. Everyone help me.....poor me poor me. Sit up in the saddle buddy

    • Josh
      February 12, 2016 - 13:02

      Glad to be part of the problem since your statement is utter bulls**t.

  • jill
    February 11, 2016 - 16:06

    People bend backward for this family to avoid being called racists by Noel and others who love to call people racist.

    February 11, 2016 - 14:29

    @ralph ...If it cost one nickel than that is too much .

  • Ha Ha Ha !
    February 11, 2016 - 14:27

    This plum tried to sell drugs to a cop ? and defends himself in court, fine the idiot and charge him court costs.

  • Joe Doe
    February 11, 2016 - 14:05


  • ralph
    February 11, 2016 - 12:28

    How much money has the PEI tax payer spent on this family in the court system???????

  • Like father like son
    February 11, 2016 - 12:00

    This is a rediculous mockery of the justice system. Sebastian needs to hire a real lawyer or go to prison, serve his time, learn from his mistakes, and get on with life. Stop wasting the courts time.

  • Jessie
    February 11, 2016 - 11:18

    When will Mr. Ayangma finally start taking responsibility for his actions. He is a menace to society! He should have gotten four to six years with his record. the last time he got house arrest and spent his days at the upei gym posting videos of how he could dunk a basket ball. He thinks he is above the law, he should get a tougher sentence so he knows he isn't!

  • Sammy
    February 11, 2016 - 10:52

    Ayangma Sr is still making a mockery of the courts while sitting in the audience. In any other province/jurisdiction he would have been told once to be quiet once and if he did not comply he would be escorted out by the sheriff. Somebody needs to grow some......