Debt owed by Dennis Oland not a big concern of father, accountant tells court
Published Friday, February 1, 2019 9:00PM AST
A Saint John court heard more details today about a steady flow of money between father and son in the decade prior to Richard Oland's murder.
On several occasions, his son Dennis received thousands of dollars from his father to resolve cash flow problems.
Robert McFadden was Richard Oland’s accountant and they had a relationship that went back as far as 1985 when Oland was president of the Canada Summer Games in Saint John.
As an accountant and business associate, McFadden told the court that Dennis Oland purchased land adjacent to his property in 2002, and was supposed to make annual payments of $10,000, but missed those payments on three consecutive years.
McFadden says Richard Oland helped out.
In 2008, during another cash crunch, the father was there again and wrote a $10,000 cheque to Dennis Oland in May that year.
One month later, Dennis Oland sent a handwritten note to his father: “Dad, please accept this cheque as a repayment for the loan forwarded to me last month. Thank you for your help in my time of need.”
In the days just prior to the murder, McFadden put together a “to do” list for himself and Richard Oland. This included meetings that had been scheduled and money matters that needed to be attended to. Defence lawyers found that list interesting for what wasn't on it.
Lawyer Michael Lacy is trying to show that money was not an issue between father and son, including a $500,000 loan Richard made to Dennis that helped cover the cost of Dennis Oland's divorce.
Lacy asked: “There's nothing in this list to do with the $500,000 advance given to Dennis Oland?”
The accountant responded: “There is not.”
McFadden was also asked Friday about a personality trait of Richard Oland, one that other witnesses have confirmed.
“Even with the benefit of hearing aids, he was, what some people might call, a close talker?” Lacy asked McFadden.
McFadden agreed: “I would say he invaded your space. He got close to you; he would touch your arm.”
That tendency to “get close” will resurface later in the trial, when defence lawyers try to explain how DNA from one person could be transferred to another person.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.