Judge dismisses Sask. animal abuse case
YORKTON The organization responsible for ensuring the humane treatment of animals in Saskatchewan is upset that a cruelty case was dismissed over a mistake in the justice system.
On Friday, a judge in Yorkton dismissed the case against Walter Goba over concerns a Crown witness had not been properly served by police.
Goba, 74, faced seven animal cruelty charges involving horses that were seized in December 2013 after a protection officer found them in critical distress.
Kaley Pugh, executive director of Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan, said she hopes the Crown launches an appeal.
“It is obviously very disheartening,” she said. “This particular case was especially frustrating for us because this was someone who was convicted on animal cruelty in another province already.”
In April 2014, Goba pleaded guilty to animal abuse charges in Manitoba involving dogs and horses. He received a conditional sentence plus a 10-year ban on owning pets or livestock.
Pugh said animal cruelty cases are challenging to investigate and time-consuming to prepare for court. There have been other problems with the case. In June, a mistrial was declared because Goba’s lawyer had not received full disclosure of the evidence from his previous lawyer. A new trial date was set for this month.