Judge dis­misses Sask. an­i­mal abuse case

Medicine Hat News - - WEST-NATION -

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.

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