Nova Scotian convicted of impaired driving causing death has been sentenced to another 30 days in jail after breaching court-ordered conditions for the second time since his release in January.

As a condition of his release, Michael Gerard Cooper is subject to a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Police arrested him walking near his apartment in Dartmouth at 9:15 p.m. Monday. He pleaded guilty to the breach Tuesday and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Last week, Cooper was sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to breaching a condition that forbids him from going to a liquor store.

His case received national attention when he was released from prison on Jan. 21 after serving a seven-year prison sentence for impaired driving causing death. He was arrested a week later for breaching conditions of his release.

A psychiatric report on his mental health including his brain damage was entered as evidence Thursday at Halifax provincial court. The report showed the public would be better served if Cooper was given proper housing and support for a brain injury he suffered in the impaired driving crash that killed two people.

Cooper, who is from Richmound County in Cape Breton, was released from a New Brunswick prison after serving his full sentence for causing the deaths of two people, Angela Smits, 19, of Sydney, and her boyfriend Michael MacLean, 20, of Albert Bridge, in a 2004 crash.

The Parole Board of Canada said he told them he would likely continue to drink and drive, which prompted the board to deny him an early release.

He was released on conditions that include a two-year ban from entering any place where alcohol is sold or consumed as the primary source of business, as well as a two-year order to abstain from buying, possessing or drinking alcohol.

On the day Cooper was released, Halifax police released his photo and took the unusual step of warning all Nova Scotians about him. Nova Scotia Liquor, the Crown agency that owns the province’s liquor stores, then instructed all of its employees to call 911 if Cooper was spotted in any of its outlets.

A week later, he was arrested near a Nova Scotia Liquor store at a Halifax mall.

A psychiatric assessment concluded Cooper was fit to stand trial, but also said he has significant brain damage as a result of a traumatic brain injury incurred in the 2004 crash, making it difficult for him to adapt to independent community living.

Source: Metro News

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Last updated on: 2014-03-14 | Link to this post