As police officers and other witnesses waited in the hallway to be called into the courtroom to testify Tuesday morning, Adam Oldford was inside, telling a provincial court judge he had fired his lawyer.
As a result, Oldford’s trial on charges of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 16 and sexual inference — touching a girl under 16 with his body for a sexual purpose — was postponed.
As proceedings were about to get underway, Legal Aid lawyer Jason Edwards told the judge that he had been fired by Oldford.
Oldford, 30, said he had decided to fire Edwards on the advice of private lawyer Bob Buckingham. He told the court Edwards had met with him only once and had told him he would be convicted despite his not guilty pleas.
Edwards denied that was the case, and asked Oldford if Buckingham had told him to say that. Oldford said yes.
After court, Oldford told the media he had approached Buckingham for advice outside the courtroom before proceedings began.
Last August, the RNC issued a public notice, saying it had received a complaint of a man in a St. John’s park approaching young teenage girls and attempting to befriend them before trying to solicit them for sexual activity. The man allegedly told the girls he was significantly younger than his actual age, police said.
The next day, police issued a media release saying they had arrested a man in connection with that investigation. Oldford appeared in court the day after that, and was later released on bail, eventually entering not guilty pleas for both charges. The RNC said it had received only one formal complaint, but suspected there were other potential young victims.
Earlier in August, a Mount Pearl mother had turned to Facebook to post a warning about a man who she said had sent inappropriate online messages to her 13-year-old daughter after meeting her in Mundy Pond Park.
Oldford’s case will be called again May 3.