Troubled Campbell River man back behind bars

A man with long-standing substance issues, and who was kicked out of a treatment facility last fall, is hopeful for another chance.

“He’s really reached a crises point in his life,” defence lawyer Robert Jones told the judge on Monday in Campbell River provincial court.

Jones is representing Charles Drake, 35, a man well-known to police and court authorities in Campbell River.

Drake has struggled with drug addiction for several years, leading to run-ins with police and numerous arrests for drug possession, shoplifting and other property offences, and breach of court orders.

During one unfortunate incident in 2008, it took several Mounties to subdue a knife-wielding Drake after he ingested unknown drugs and began leaping on vehicles and threatening motorists as they stopped at the intersection of Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue.

Drake has been in and out of custody since then, doing well for extended periods, but then falls into old patterns.

Last year, he was given a conditional jail sentence after being convicted for drug possession. As part of the sentence, he entered the Comox Valley Recovery Centre in November, but was quickly evicted when he was found in possession of a cell phone which is against house rules.

Later that month, Drake was given permission by his sentence supervisor to go to the aboriginal training centre on Ironwood Road in Campbell River and then to return home.

However, later that day he was spotted by a loss prevention officer as he attempted to steal fishing and hardware items from Canadian Tire. After he was spotted, Drake ditched the items and fled on foot.

However, Drake was arrested again on Nov. 27, after he and his cousin stole a chainsaw and other times from the Canadian Tire store in Port Alberni.

Drake’s been in custody since then in Victoria. On Monday, he appeared in court by video with his lawyer to answer to charges of theft and breaching court orders.

He will return to court Feb. 24, for sentencing on the theft and he’s presently serving the remainder of his conditional sentence, 50 days, behind bars for breaching conditions.

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