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Monday, September 26, 2022
NOTL teen gets conditional discharge for spraying horse protesters with urine

A Niagara-on-the-Lake teenager who sprayed urine on horse protesters in Old Town last year has been given a conditional discharge and ordered to perform 75 hours of community service.

Austin Gould, now 19, had been charged with three counts of assault with a weapon when he sprayed Sherry Bowman, Adam Stirr and Jason King during an Aug. 23 demonstration against the use of horses to pull carriages in the Heritage District.

The victims were all members of At War For Animals Niagara, a group that has been staging protests for three years in NOTL urging an end to the use of the horses to pull the carriages.

The group believes animals such as horses should be considered “non-human persons” and that the horse-and-carriage service is a form of slavery. Members also would like all humans to be vegan.

On the day of the incident, animal rights activists and pro-carriage supporters met in the streets of NOTL to vocally share their opposing views.

After the charges were laid, Niagara Regional Police said they sent the sprayed substance to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto for testing and analysis.

Gould pleaded guilty in April to one charge of assault against Bowman and the other two charges were withdrawn by the Crown.

Ontario Court Justice Fergus O’Donnell on June 21 handed down the conditional discharge sentence and also ordered Gould to serve nine months of probation.

As part of his sentence, Gould is not allowed to have any contact with the victims.