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Man charged with animal cruelty greeted by angry protesters outside Pictou provincial court


PICTOU, N.S. —

A large crowd was gathered at Pictou Provincial Courthouse on July 24 only to be disappointed as the sentencing hearing for David Oakley was adjourned.

On June 10, David Oakley pled 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.

“It says something about the type of person you are,” said Brenda Gerrior who helped organize the July 24 rally and past ones too. “I could never imagine treating my dogs like he treated these animals.”

Back in February the SPCA removed seven dead dogs, including six puppies, from a property in the community of Sylvester where Oakley was living. On Feb. 15 Oakley admitted he “put down” the dogs.

According to court reports, and to neighbors who received messages from Oakley after the public became aware of the incident, the dogs had been killed with an axe.

“He could have dropped them off on the door step of the SPCA," said Gerrior in an interview with The News. "He could have called someone and said that there are animals in a box on the corner of a gas station. But to bludgeon animals and think it’s okay?”

July 24 was Oakley’s first personal appearance in court, and the first opportunity for people to speak with him directly. Oakley did not respond to any of the protesters, many of whom were carrying signs calling for stricter sentences or depicting the dog Meeka, which was recovered from Oakley’s home in February.

Oakley’s lawyer, Elizabeth Cooper was not present. Instead she spoke to the court via telephone, and asked that the matter be adjourned due to a family emergency she is dealing with. The prosecution consented, and Judge Del Atwood set the sentencing date for Oct. 1.

As Oakley exited the courtroom, people shouted “evil,” “trash” and “coward” at him.

“You will never be alone. There will always be someone watching for you or over your shoulder. Don’t even think for a second that solitude is something that you will get a chance to enjoy, from now until the end of time,” said Tammy Sutton, who was among those rallying at the courthouse.

Oakley appeared nervous and would not comment on the case, but told The News that he has been threatened “thousands” of times since February.

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