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Man accused in animal cruelty has new dates set, trial dates remain

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PICTOU — The accused in a local animal abuse case was present in court on Monday morning after turning himself in last week on a failure to appear charge.

David William Oakley was present in Pictou Provincial Court on Monday morning after he failed to appear in court for his case. A warrant was then issued and Oakley was taken into custody last week where he was granted a $2,000 release order.

On Monday, Oakley’s failure to appear in court charge as well as two counts of failure to provide adequate food for an animal in his care and nine counts of unnecessary suffering, were set over to February 3 of this year to allow the accused time to obtain legal counsel with the help of Legal Aid.

Despite recent charges and a date for counsel on the new charges being set, Oakley will still stand trial for one count of killing eight dogs without cause and one count of wounding a dog, with Halifax lawyer Elizabeth Cooper representing him.

The trial is set to take place on June 17 and 18 of this year.

The case has garnered a lot of attention. A large crowd of protesters carrying signs calling for stricter sentences for animal abusers gathered at the court house in Pictou during previous occasions when Oakley was scheduled to appear.

Last June, Oakley pleaded guilty to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and one count of striking an animal with an axe, an incident which occurred in February 2019. At the time, the SPCA removed several dead dogs, including a number of puppies, from a property in Sylvester where Oakley was living at the time.