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Jack Grover slum landlord

Back to jail for Grover

Jagdish Lal (Jack) Grover

Jack Grover was sentenced to one year for attempted obstruction of justice

A three-year-old and a nine-month-old, died of injuries they received in the March 2005 fire.

At Jagdish Lal (Jack) Grover's original trial, the court heard fire investigators found the remains of two smoke detectors in the house — one with no battery and the other locked in a cupboard.

There was also testimony that Grover visited a fire victim in the hospital and tried to get her to sign documents relating to the smoke detectors.

The Crown argued Grover was trying to cover his tracks by falsifying records related to the detectors.

However, Jack Grover said he only visited the hospital out of concern for the well-being of a tenant.

Jack Grover was convicted of attempted obstruction of justice and served three months before the conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal which ruled there wasn't enough evidence to prove that Grover knew the smoke alarm records were false.

The Crown appealed that ruling, the Supreme Court overturned it and restored the conviction stating the appeal judges made a mistake.

"It was not open to the Court of Appeal to acquit [Grover] on the basis of speculation about a possible explanation of his conduct that was flatly contradicted by his own testimony"
-- Supreme Court of Canada

Jack Grover charged:
Landlord accused of falsifying records at Ave. E home


Landlord Jack Grover spent a night in custody after police charged him with falsifying smoke detector records the day after a house fire sent six people to hospital.

Jack Grover strode briskly past reporters following his first court appearance Friday.

In response to reporters' questions, he simply said, "No time, no time."

After Grover got into a car, one of Grover's two companions shoved a TV camera away.

"Shut up!" Grover, 64, barked at a reporter who demanded the name of his companion. The car sped away with Grover's companion thrusting his middle finger at reporters.

The landlord is charged with obstructing justice by trying to falsify smoke detector records. Grover has not entered a plea.

Six people were sent to hospital following the March 3 fire at 214 Ave. E North.

Staff Sgt. John Middleton said Grover was taken into custody Thursday afternoon after police asked him to come to the police station. Grover spent the night in either the Saskatoon Correctional Centre or the police station.

Reached at home, Grover said he was, "shouting Hallelujah, so much work to do," before hanging up.

Obstructing justice is an indictable offence carrying a prison term of as long as 10 years. Under Saskatoon's fire and protective services bylaw, all homeowners, including landlords, are required to test smoke detectors every three months, or annually in the case of electrically wired or tamper-proof detectors and record the results, said fire inspector Wayne Rodger. The type of smoke alarm in the Avenue E home could not immediately be confirmed.

Rodger said charges of falsifying smoke-detector records are uncommon, but Grover has been previously charged with the offence for a different property.

"Where smoke alarms don't work, you can have some pretty tragic results," Rodger said. "Every response I've ever gone to when the smoke alarm has gone off, typically the occupants are outside waiting for us to arrive."

When firefighters arrived at Avenue E, there was no sound of smoke alarms, he said.

Accurate smoke-detector records protect the landlord and prevent he-said, she-said exchanges in court, Rodger said.

In 2003, The StarPhoenix reported that Grover's properties had racked up a staggering 186 violations, improvement orders and convictions from fire inspectors and the courts in two years. Grover attributed his record to the fact that no one else owns so many inner-city properties in Saskatoon. At the time, he owned or managed 80 units.

Grover was released from custody until his next appearance March 28 on conditions including no contact with nine people -- the tenants of the house and their families. He is also not to visit the City Hospital intensive care unit or the pediatric intensive care unit at Royal University Hospital.

Since the fire, Grover has repeatedly phoned family members of the tenants, said Lloyd Gifford, whose son Curtis was staying in the house when the fire began. Grover also walked into the intensive care unit, demanding to see Curtis, and at other times phoned for updates on his condition, disguising his voice and calling himself Uncle Harry, Gifford said.

Contact with Grover has made an already stressful situation more difficult, Gifford said.

Curtis is in critical but stable condition. No update was available on the three children and their mother.