SAINT JOHN, N.B. – A woman who was having an extramarital affair with Richard Oland before he was killed told his son’s murder trial Tuesday that she tried repeatedly to contact him by cellphone and text message the night before his body was found, but she never got a reply.
Diana Sedlacek told the Court of Queen’s Bench that she sent her final text on July 6, 2011, at 11:12 p.m. and told Oland it was “pathetic” he wasn’t replying.
She said she had a romantic relationship with the New Brunswick businessman for most of the eight years she had known him before his death.
They would meet about three times a week in Saint John and had seen each other many times outside the city, she told the jury. Her husband only became aware of the affair when police visited him following Oland’s death, she said.
Oland was found face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.
Court has heard about 40 blows to Oland’s head were caused by a hammer-type instrument while others were inflicted with a blade-like weapon. Police have never found a murder weapon.
His son Dennis has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.
Later Tuesday, Jiri Sedlacek said he learned about his wife’s affair in October 2012 when he was shown a newspaper article by his lawyer detailing their relationship.
Crown attorney Patrick Wilbur asked the retired senior executive of Bata Shoes: “What did you have to do, if anything, with the death of Richard Oland?”
“Nothing,” replied Sedlacek, who told the court he met his former wife in 1981 and they married six years later.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Alan Gold, Sedlacek described himself as an honourable man who never cheated on his wife.
Gold said if Sedlacek had been involved in Oland’s death he wouldn’t admit it in court.
“I had nothing to do with Richard Oland’s death,” Sedlacek said.
He said he never suspected his wife was having an affair.
He also said police never sought his bank or phone records.
Gold said the police only spoke to him twice to ask where he was on July 6, 2011. “That was the extent of their investigation?” Gold asked.
“I believe so,” he replied.
People stood in the doorway of the packed courtroom to hear Diana Sedlacek’s testimony.
Asked by the Crown about her activities on July 6, Sedlacek said she woke up, got ready and then sent a text to Oland to say good morning.
She went to the gym and before she joined a class, she texted Oland to ask if he had the information on a trip they were planning to Portland, Maine. Oland called her during her spin class but the phone was on silent and she couldn’t answer it.
She replied by text after the class and he texted her the possible times for their trip.
Sedlacek said she sent a number of texts the evening of July 6 in an effort to reach Oland and also called his cellphone, which wasn’t found by police after his death.
“It immediately went to voicemail,” she told the court.
Sedlacek said she sent a text asking why he had turned his phone off.
“Answer your damn phone,” she texted. “I will call your house.”
Sedlacek said she tried to call Oland on the morning of July 7 but there was again no answer.
She saw Oland’s car in his parking spot as she was on her way to a hair appointment, and sent him a text at 9:37 a.m. asking, “What the hell is going on with you?”
After she left her hair appointment, Sedlacek said she saw police in front of Oland’s office and told a police officer she had an appointment with Oland. She was told no one was allowed inside.
She said she drove to her real estate office and sent emails to Oland’s secretary and his business associate, but got no reply.
Sedlacek drove back to Oland’s office and saw his car being towed away, she said.
“I knew something horrible had happened,” she said. “I didn’t know what.”
Previous witnesses have said that members of the Oland family were aware of the extramarital affair.