Crown asks for 6 months in jail for man who led police on chase through Deer Lake

·3 min read
Sentencing arguments for George Brake, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and flight from police, were heard in Corner Brook provincial court Friday. The judge plans to issue her decision May 21. (Colleen Connors/CBC - image credit)
Sentencing arguments for George Brake, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and flight from police, were heard in Corner Brook provincial court Friday. The judge plans to issue her decision May 21. (Colleen Connors/CBC - image credit)

A Shoal Brook, N.L., man who led police on a high-speed chase in and around Deer Lake earlier this year should get six months in jail, argued the Crown in Corner Brook provincial court Friday.

Crown prosecutor Trina Simms told the court that George Brake — who pleaded guilty two weeks ago to dangerous driving and flight from police — should also be placed on probation, prohibiting him from driving and possessing weapons, for one year. She also asked for supervision and that he attend counselling.

Brake, 67, left his home on Bonne Bay in Gros Morne National Park in the early morning of Jan. 26 and sped down the highway, reaching speeds of up to 155 km/h, according to police. According to court documents, Brake drove around a police roadblock and headed into Deer Lake, where he was eventually arrested.

His lawyer, Gary Kearney, argued time served would be sufficient — Brake has been in custody since the incident, 3½ months ago — and that it would be harmful to Brake's deteriorating health and financial situation to take away his licence. Kearney also said a firearms prohibition would be unnecessary.

Crown requests Brake stay away from service station

The Crown is also asking that he stay away from Pike's Service Station in Glenburnie, near his home.

Area residents told CBC News that Brake visited the station around 9 a.m. on Jan. 26. Brake was angry and fired up, according to customers, and talked about how he was God and he wanted to stop the provincial election. Someone reported him to police, and said Brake was heading to Deer Lake.

Brake who lives in this trailer in Shoal Brook, has been in custody since leading police on a high-speed chase 3½ months ago.
Brake who lives in this trailer in Shoal Brook, has been in custody since leading police on a high-speed chase 3½ months ago.(Colleen Connors/CBC)

Firearms charges dropped

Brake originally faced six charges. Two weeks ago, the Crown dropped two of them — possession of weapons for a dangerous purpose and uttering death threats — saying there was no likelihood of conviction.

Brake was due to stand trial Friday on two other charges — unauthorized possession of a firearm and careless use of a firearm — but Judge Kymil Howe dismissed the counts before the trial began.

When Brake was arrested, police found dozens of knives in his truck, and when they searched his trailer, with a warrant, in Shoal Brook they found an unlicensed rifle and shotgun that weren't safely stored.

But Howe declared the search unlawful and the warrant invalid, saying it didn't comply with the rules and shouldn't have been issued.

Deteriorating health

Brake addressed the court on Friday, saying his health, particularly related to his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has worsened since being in custody.

He said he's suffered from panic attacks and anxiety and he has no close friends of family to help him if he is released.

He said it would be "torture on top of punishment in my mind" to take away his licence for a year.

Howe is scheduled to give her decision on May 21.

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