LOWELL -- A Dracut man who entered court using a cane narrowly avoided being jailed after he was charged with violating a restraining order by driving by his estranged wife's home, honking the horn and making a rude hand gesture at her.
In Lowell District Court on Tuesday, Robert Vere, 72, who lives at the Motel Caswell, pleaded not guilty to two counts of violation of a restraining order his estranged wife obtained against him.
Prosecutor Daniel Brunelli asked that with the new charges, Vere's bail on a pending assault with a dangerous-weapon case from September be revoked and Vere be held without bail for 90 days.
Brunelli says the alleged victim went to the Dracut Police Department a day after the Jan. 12 incident.
The victim, who has an active restraining order against her husband of 33 years, told police Vere drove by the family home on Leo Avenue in Dracut, honked the horn at his wife and made a rude hand gesture toward her.
She also alleges Vere called her twice in violation of his conditions of the restraining order.
But defense attorney Melissa Devore argued Vere's bail not be revoked, noting Vere, a U.S. Navy veteran, is frail and paralyzed on the left side.
Devore said Vere denies the allegations and notes police never saw or checked to see if Vere called his wife.
Judge Thomas Brennan declined to revoke Vere's bail, but gave him a stern warning that he could be jailed based on the allegation alone. Vere was released on personal recognizance.
His next court date is Jan. 30 for a pretrial conference.