Dennis Oland's wife was afraid of him, according to violence complaint

·5 min read
Dennis Oland declined to comment on allegations that he physically and emotionally abused his wife, Lisa, when they were married. He and Lisa Andrik-Oland are now divorced. (Roger Cosman/CBC - image credit)
Dennis Oland declined to comment on allegations that he physically and emotionally abused his wife, Lisa, when they were married. He and Lisa Andrik-Oland are now divorced. (Roger Cosman/CBC - image credit)

Lisa Andrik-Oland alleged in court documents that Dennis Oland assaulted, terrified and tried to control her before and after he was found not guilty of murdering his father, a prominent Saint John businessman.

"I do not want to see my ex-husband physically alone because I am scared of him," Andrik-Oland told an officer of the court last June, almost a year after Oland was acquitted in Saint John of second-degree murder.

After his acquittal, Oland and Andrik-Oland separated, and she was granted an emergency intervention order to keep him away from their Rothesay house.

"I'm constantly feeling threatened and uncomfortable and intimidated and shown who I am," she told the adjudicative officer who heard the complaint. A publication ban on materials related to the complaint was lifted Monday.

A jury found Oland guilty in 2015 of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his father, Richard Oland, at his Saint John office. The conviction was later overturned on appeal and, after a retrial before a judge alone, Oland was found not guilty in July 2019.

Almost a year later, Andrik Oland gave a recorded interview under oath to get an order against Oland under the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act.

Andrik-Oland said her husband had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

"He has lost his temper many times with me."

She described several incidents to explain why she felt so afraid of him.

On June 8, 2018, she said, Oland used his belt to tie her hands behind her back at a hotel room in Toronto. This was four months before Oland was scheduled to stand trial for murder a second time.

Anrik-Oland wrote that people in the room next door called the police.

"There was a physical altercation," she wrote. "Dennis at the time was going to begin his second trial so I told police everything was OK."

Dennis Oland and his then-wife Lisa arrive at the law courts in Saint John during his second-degree murder trial.
Dennis Oland and his then-wife Lisa arrive at the law courts in Saint John during his second-degree murder trial.(Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

When Andrik-Oland made the complaint, Oland was living elsewhere, and she was living in the family home considered a shared marital property.

The day before her interview with the adjudicative officer, she said, Oland had entered the house without her permission and refused to leave, despite numerous requests.

Andrik-Oland called police.

"I kept saying to them … 'I don't feel safe,' and they said 'Unless there's an altercation there's nothing we can do,'" she told the adjudicative officer.

Unable to get the police to act, she said, she had no choice but to file a complaint under the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act.

Andrik-Oland told the officer hearing the complaint that Oland had lost his temper "many times" with her.

When the adjudicative officer asked her about historical abuse, Andrik-Oland said she'd been physically assaulted, threatened, financially and emotionally abused, and controlled by Oland.

Going 'ballistic'

She described a day during the months after his acquittal when she and Oland went by boat to a small island in the Kennebecasis River, where he physically assaulted her.

Andrik-Oland said that he'd gone "ballistic" after she made a comment about him being on his phone.

"I said, 'Since you're so stressed out, I would think you don't want to be answering your phone,'" she said.

Oland started throwing coolers and chairs into the boat, then left her alone on the island for more than an hour. When he came back, he tied her hands and feet and dragged her down the beach.

"He picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and carried me down to the beach, but when he got there he dropped me," she said through tears.

"He dropped me, head first, down on to the rocks … my head split — cut — I got a cut and there was blood everywhere.

"As you can imagine, my husband was accused of quite the crime, where there was a lot of blood. So, when he saw this he completely freaked out."

Once she was in the boat, he held her head down to the bottom of the boat until they reached shore, Andrik-Oland said.

There were other "events" similar to the one she described on the island, she said.

"When you ask me why do I feel unsafe, it's because I don't trust my husband's reactions," she said. "I can say something wrong or look at him in the wrong way that he doesn't like or that he thinks is a criticism of him, and he associates me with trauma in his life."

Andrik-Oland's allegations were never proven in court. This is because after reviewing the emergency order granted last June 10 by the adjudicative officer, Chief Justice Tracey DeWare of the Court of Queen's found the next week that there wasn't enough evidence to maintain the emergency order without a hearing.

At the hearing held a few days later, Andrik-Oland's lawyer said her client and Dennis Oland had reached an agreement and asked that the emergency order be set aside.

Publication ban lifted

Andrik-Oland had also been granted a publication ban by the adjudicative officer, which covered the details of her allegations.

The CBC and the Telegraph-Journal filed an application to remove the publication ban, and DeWare eventually ruled in their favour earlier this year.

DeWare said the adjudicative officer didn't have the authority to impose the ban, which she said was "inappropriate and not in conformity" with the open-court principle.

Andrik-Oland's lawyers appealed, but the publication ban expired Monday after they discontinued the appeal.

They had argued that removing the publication ban would hurt their client and discourage victims from coming forward.

Dennis Oland declined to comment through his lawyer.