Corner Brook judge concludes Bonne Bay man who allegedly threatened politicians is a danger to the public | Canada | News
CORNER BROOK, NL –
“Threats against candidates on an election strike at the heart of our democracy,” said Judge Wayne Gorman when he denied bail to George Brake on Tuesday afternoon when he appeared in a provincial court in Corner Brook.
Brake, 66, of Shoal Brook, Bonne Bay, was accused on January 26 of threatening local politicians after the RCMP received a tip that he had gone to Deer Lake to “stop” the provincial elections.
His arrest came after a high-speed chase that ended in the parking lot of the law firm of Jim Goudie, the progressive Conservative candidate for Humber-Gros Morne. About three dozen hunting and tactical knives were found in his pickup truck, and two firearms – a 12-gauge Benelli shotgun and a Browning .300 lever rifle – were later confiscated from his trailer in Shoal Brook.
He is charged with making threats, possessing a gun for a dangerous purpose, operating a vehicle dangerously, fleeing the police, owning two firearms without a license, and carelessly storing both guns and ammunition.
A fitness assessment conducted at Waterford Hospital in St. Johns found Brake can stand trial and his bail hearing was held Monday.
Brake appeared on a conference call from St. John Prison to hear Gorman’s decision.
Under the Canadian Criminal Code, Gorman may be denied bail if incarceration is necessary for the protection or safety of the public and if a defendant, if released, is likely to commit a crime or disrupt the administration of justice.
Police say they confiscated 36 knives from the cab of George Brake’s truck. – Keith Gosse / The Telegram
Gorman said Brake is charged with very serious criminal offenses, but he has no history of violence.
The severity of the alleged offenses is a major factor in the review, but it is not in and of itself determinative of bail, he said.
“The concern in this case is that Mr. Brake had an intention to execute politicians and took direct and persistent action to achieve the stated goal,” Gorman said.
Brake avoided police, including a roadblock, drove at high speed and went to a political candidate’s office while possessing an exceptional number of knives, Gorman said.
When asked if he would have no contact with the candidate and other candidates, Brake suggested not doing so in his response, Gorman said.
“I am pleased that if he is released he will not qualify …” – Judge Wayne Gorman
“All of the evidence presented gives me satisfaction that Mr. Brake poses a significant threat to the public. I am satisfied that if he is released he will not respect the conditions of protection of certain members of the public, that is to say the candidates in the elections, and that the safety of these persons would be endangered.
“I conclude that if he is released there is a significant possibility that Mr Brake will commit acts of violence against candidates in the elections. This will also put the police and the community at risk. “
Brake’s next appearance in court is scheduled for February 26th.
Diane Crocker reports on West Coast news. [email protected] | Twitter: @WS_DianeCrocker