Andrei James Challenger and James Rolin Challenger, who were charged with offences related to the wounding of a dog named Dora in May 2017, pleaded guilty to a pair of crimes on Tuesday.
Andrei Challenger, James’s son, pleaded guilty to failing to exercise proper care and supervision of the dog. James Challenger pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering.
The younger Challenger is still charged with cruelty to animals and causing unnecessary suffering, and James Challenger is also charged with failing to exercise proper care and supervision. The two men had been scheduled to stand trial Tuesday morning but changed their pleas before the proceedings began.
Crown counsel Darlene Oko informed the court that Tuesday was the first opportunity she had to sit down and talk about the case with defence attorneys Richard Barton and Dennis Brady. Barton represented the elder Challenger, while Brady is the attorney for Andrei Challenger.
“It’s been time well spent,” said Oko to Magistrate Philippa McFarlane. “I think we’ve resolved the matter and it may not require a trial.”
Dora, who belonged to the Challengers at the time, suffered extensive burns in May 2017 and underwent emergency surgery at Island Veterinary Services. Dora was pregnant at the time and lost her litter. She was subsequently adopted by a new family.
Andre Challenger was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty on May 22, 2017, and he and his father were charged with their respective crimes in October that year. The trial was originally scheduled for last March but was administratively delayed on multiple occasions.
Magistrate McFarlane thanked the two sides for coming to an agreement on Tuesday.
“In the circumstances, I commend all of you,” the magistrate said.
Both Oko and Barton indicated that further discussions are needed to iron out a basis for plea. Magistrate McFarlane ordered a social inquiry report to be conducted by probation officers.
The Challengers will be due back in court for their next appearance on June 4.