Judge refuses sentencing recommendation
Barry Oake was in Gander provincial court yesterday, where a judge refused a joint recommendation of house arrest from the Crown attorney and defence counsel. Mr. Oake, a former Grand Falls-Windsor town councillor, has plead guilty to four counts of sexual assault. Photo by David Newell/The Advertiser
Gander - A former Grand Falls-Windsor town councillor who pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault earlier this year has had his sentencing postponed until Dec. 8.
Barry Oake, 47, confessed to the crimes earlier this year and was in Gander provincial court again Monday afternoon.
Crown attorney Karen O'Reilly and defence lawyer Robert Simmonds had previously presented a sentencing recommendation of 14 months house arrest to Judge Bruce Short.
Short refused that recommendation, citing several factors which he felt made a conditional sentence inappropriate in this case.
Simmonds requested a postponement to review the concerns of the judge, which was granted.
The father of one of the victims, who cannot be named to protect the identify of the victim, said he was pleased with the developments.
"It is finally good to see a judge take his court room back from the lawyers," he said. "The lawyers have been more or less dictating this case all along the way. It is good the judge has gotten to the point that he sees beyond all the rhetoric that went on in court and looked at the facts. Thank God he made the decision he made."
The man called Oake a sexual predator who "needs to go to jail."
The father said when the recommendation of house arrest was presented, his son and the other victims had doubts in the judicial system.
"He was totally disappointed, as were all of the boys involved," he said. "I know all of them and they were all disappointed and they were almost to the point where they were sorry they came forward."
Simmonds said he was surprised at the judge's refusal of the joint sentencing recommendation.
"It was one presented to the court after much contemplation, much research and much discussion with the Crown attorney," he said. "Certainly we felt, or we would not have presented it, that it satisfied all of the requirements of the law both from reformation and rehabilitation, from all the principals of sentencing, deterrents both specific and general, through the evidence presented at the pre-sentencing."
He said he will study the judge's concerns and reassess the points he made in Monday's court session.
In his address, Short called Oake's actions "planned, deliberate, calculated and cold."
He indicated the fact Oake was chaperoning the victims when the offences occurred and that he provided them with alcohol made a conditional sentence inappropriate.
Oake, who was also well-known comic entertainer in the central Newfoundland region, had been granted leave with pay from his seat on the Grand Falls-Windsor town council, but resigned from that post the same day he entered a guilty plea for the four charges.