CORNER BROOK A man who created a lot of headaches for a Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador matter last week will be released from custody, but won’t be allowed to leave the province until he has a lawyer.
Christopher Correia Gomes, 33, is co-accused on drug charges with Slobodan Bobby Milinkovic, 36.
They were arrested during a traffic stop on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Corner Brook in August 2011. Police confiscated 8.5 kilograms of cocaine and a small quantity of hashish nd charged them both with drug possession and trafficking.
The two men from Ontario were scheduled to have an application regarding their Charter rights heard in the Supreme Court last Monday morning. Milinkovic was in Corner Brook and the lawyers and witnesses from both sides were all ready to go.
The matter could not proceed, however, without Gomes, who was arrested for failure to attend court when he finally did show up in Corner Brook last Wednesday.
The application was never heard in the Supreme Court.
Gomes said he had missed flights on consecutive days.
Erin Breen, the lawyer who had been representing Gomes, has since withdrawn from representing him.
Gomes made an appearance in provincial court Thursday morning, but his bail hearing for the failure to attend court was moved to Supreme Court before Justice William Goodridge, the judge who was supposed to hear the application last week.
Goodridge lambasted Gomes for wasting the time of everyone involved and for causing the court system to incur unnecessary expenditures for a matter that did not go ahead.
Still, he was not willing to keep Gomes in custody all summer until his next scheduled court date.
Goodridge agreed with Crown attorney David Mills that Gomes will have to report to the RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador in person 48 hours before the next court date requiring his presence.
He released Gomes from custody on a $2,500 surety, but ordered that he could not leave Newfoundland and Labrador until he had retained a new lawyer and a designation of counsel was filed with the court.
The matter is scheduled to be called again Sept. 10, but that is expected to involve setting another date for Gomes and Milinkovic to return and it is unlikely they will be required to appear in person as long as they have legal representation.