Drover released on conditions
Former military officer, political candidate vows to seek the help he needs
A retired officer with the Canadian Forces, who once aspired to be the Progressive Conservative MHA for Port de Grave and premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, admitted in court last week that his life has been on a downward spiral.
Gary John Drover was released from custody following a bail hearing at provincial court in Harbour Grace on Dec. 7. He had been in policy custody since Nov. 30, when he was arrested and charged with break and enter and assault. The incident is alleged to have taken place at a Carbonear home on that date.
The most recent matter was the latest in a string of charges Drover has faced since early July.
The accused also faces charges of operation of a motor vehicle while impaired, dangerous driving and fail- ure to comply with conditions of an undertaking. The dangerous driving charges stem from an Oct. 12 incident on Veterans Memorial Highway. Police received complaints that Drover was driving his motorhome in an erratic manner. He was later involved in a collision in Bay Roberts.
Judge Jacqueline Brazil released Drover, who currently resides in Carbonear, on a strict list of conditions, including a prohibition on the possession or consumption of alcohol or any illegal drugs or substances.
“I hope you don’t make me regret it,” she said.
The accused was ordered not to contact or communicate with one of the victims of the alleged break and enter.
Drover is due back in court Jan. 23 to deal with the Oct. 12 and Nov. 30 matters.
Drover was medically released from the military in 2008 after he was deemed unfit for service due to a “psychological injury” in the performance of his duties. At the time, he was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety.
Drover first entered the spotlight earlier this year after announcing he would seek the PC nomination in Port de Grave for the Oct. 11 provincial general election. He also stated publicly it was his ambition to one day become premier.
But in early July he was involved in an incident with an RNC officer in Paradise that resulted in him being charged with possession of a weapon dangerous to the public (a power drill), assaulting a police officer with that weapon and obstructing the officer in the execution of his duties.
Drover finished last of the six candidates in the running, receiving 15 of the more than 1,600 votes cast.
It’s been a difficult time for the 20year veteran of the military, who
. holds a degree in commerce from Memorial University and is the father of two teenage daughters.
In court last week, Judge Brazil told the defendant: “You come before me as a retired Canadian Forces member, a soldier who never had a criminal record. Now you’re 49 years old; you’ve had three outstanding matters before this court and you pled guilty to one. That’s since July 2 and this is Dec. 7, so there’s something going on here,” the judge observed.
Hannah Coombs, her sister Claire and mom Kayla Janes take in the Harbour Grace Santa Claus Parade as it passes by their Harvey Street home. Organized by the town’s volunteer fire brigade, the parade was held Dec. 3 under sunny skies and ideal weather conditions. For more parade photo highlights, see Page A6
Wade Oates will be sworn in as a Bay Roberts town counillor Tuesday, Dec. 13.