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Adam Oldford was given a 90-day weekend jail sentence and two years of probation
A St. John’s man convicted of a sex crime against a child he met in a local skateboard park was given a 90-day weekend jail sentence Thursday, after making a plea deal with the Crown.
Adam Oldford, 32, admitted he was guilty of sexual interference, since he engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl he met in the Mundy Pond skate park in August 2017. In exchange for his guilty plea, a charge of sexual assault was dropped, with the Crown noting there would have been some challenges with the case had it gone to trial.
An agreed statement of facts presented in provincial court Thursday indicated Oldford had been in a brief sexual relationship with the girl over the course of four days, though the relationship didn’t include intercourse. The girl told police she had informed Oldford she didn’t want to have intercourse until she was 16.
“While there is no independent evidence to support that Mr. Oldford heard that statement, Mr. Oldford met the complainant in a skateboard park with other youth present, and he took no positive action to ascertain the actual age of (the girl) and as such, was wilfully blind to the fact that (the girl) was under the age of 16 years at the time of the sexual activity,” the statement of facts said.
By law, a person under the age of 16 cannot consent to sexual activity — intercourse or not — with a person more than four years older than they are. If the sexual activity includes anal sex, payment or pornography, or involves a person in a position of trust or authority, the age of consent is 18 years. All sexual activity without consent is unlawful, and deliberate ignorance is not a legal defence.
Oldford addressed the court, and apologized.
He will serve his 90-day sentence on weekends, after which he will be on probation for two years. Oldford will also be listed on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.
Two years ago, a woman told reporters that a man had sent inappropriate online messages to her 14-year-old daughter after meeting her in Mundy Pond Park in St. John's.
The RNC issued a public notice saying it had received a complaint about a man in a St. John’s park approaching young teenage girls and attempting to befriend them before trying to solicit sexual favours. Police said he reportedly presented himself as significantly younger than his actual age.
Oldford was arrested the next day.
He had originally pleaded not guilty and his trial had been set to happen in April 2018, but he fired his Legal Aid lawyer just as it was about to get underway, saying he wanted “a real lawyer” instead. He told the court he wasn’t satisfied with the representation he was getting, and had approached private lawyer Bob Buckingham in the hallway of provincial court earlier that day for advice. Oldford said Buckingham had advised him to postpone his trial and hire someone else.
A month later the court was told Oldford would stick with Legal Aid, and his trial was rescheduled twice before he eventually changed his plea.