Another adjournment was the decision that came out of Pictou Provincial Court on Tuesday morning in regards to a local animal abuse case.
David William Oakley, formerly of Sylvester, was set to be sentenced on two counts of failure to provide adequate food for an animal, one count of striking an animal with an axe, and eight counts of causing unnecessary suffering of an animal.
During the proceeding, it was revealed that new charges for the same date had been laid and had their first hearing in court Monday morning. The new charges are one count of killing eight dogs that were kept for a lawful purpose and one count of wounding a dog that was kept for a lawful purpose.
Because of the new charges, Oakley’s lawyer, Elizabeth Cooper, asked for an adjournment because she was not retained on the new charges and was still considering withdrawing the guilty pleas that Oakley had entered previously for the initial charges.
Crown prosecutor Jody MacNeill offered to have the new charges withdrawn if the sentencing was to proceed today, however, the defence declined, saying there is more to consider with the new charges in the mix and she felt all of the charges should be heard together as they all occurred on the same date.
Judge Del Atwood decided in the end that the case would be adjourned to give Oakley time to obtain counsel for the new charges due to the “factoral nexus” between the two informations. The case and the new charges have been adjourned to Nov. 12 at Pictou Provincial Court to set a date for a sentencing for the earlier laid charges and to hear an election on the newer charges.
Just before one of the breaks on Tuesday morning, Atwood explained to the courtroom that the public has a right to be there and to see the proceedings of the courtroom, however, the accused also has a right to be in the courthouse which can be seen as a place of sanctuary. As the accused is there as part of proceedings, they are protected by the justice system and should not be subject to verbal or physical abuse.
Protesters gather outside Pictou Provincial Courthouse on Tuesday morning asking for justice for animals, in light of a local animal abuse case that is being heard. (Brimicombe photo)