HALIFAX — Halifax police have taken the unusual step of warning all Nova Scotia residents about a man deemed a high risk to re-offend after serving a seven-year sentence for impaired driving causing the deaths of two young people from Cape Breton.
After Michael Gerard Cooper’s conviction in 2007, the Parole Board of Canada said he told them he would likely continue drinking and driving, which prompted the board to deny him an early release.
Halifax Regional Police issued a statement Tuesday under its high-risk offender protocol saying the 55-year-old was expected to move to the Halifax area after his release from New Brunswick’s Dorchester Penitentiary the same day. The police warning was accompanied by a photo of Cooper.
Cooper’s case attracted national attention after the parents of a teenager who died in a collision with Cooper’s vehicle asked Nova Scotia authorities to provide Cooper’s name and photo to liquor stores, bars and other licensed establishments.
As part of his release, Cooper must meet several conditions, including a lifetime driving ban and a two-year order to abstain from buying, possessing or drinking alcohol.
Mike Maloney of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., said it was instructing its employees to call 911 if Cooper is spotted in any of their outlets.
Maloney said the Crown agency has a standard protocol when it comes to restricting the sale of alcohol to those facing court conditions, adding that the only thing unusual about Cooper’s case is that employees across the province are being alerted.
“It’s relatively routine,” he said. “The system is the same but the scale is larger.”