A bitter custody battle between former friends over one of Sydney’s most famous cavoodles has turned into a long-running dogfight – ending in a bizarre public scuffle in a park.
Prized pooch Oscar became the centre of an ugly confrontation between feuding owners Mark Gillespie and Gina Edwards at a dog park in the exclusive harbourside Sydney suburb of Kirribilli.
Mr Gillespie is embroiled in a long-running battle with Ms Edwards and her husband Kenneth Flavell, alleging his former friends took his beloved pooch while he was at sea for work and they were dog-sitting – and have since refused to give him back.
The cruise ship director hadn’t seen Oscar in 18 months until the recent encounter at the dog park.
The pair enjoyed an emotional reunion before Mr Gillespie was filmed picking up Oscar and running off with Ms Edwards in hot pursuit in a bizarre encounter captured by A Current Affair.
Gina Edwards’ friend Anne (right) tries to take Oscar from Mark Gillespie (left) during a fiery confrontation
‘I’m collecting my property, thank you,’ he yelled before tripping over.
‘Don’t you dare, don’t you dare!’ a distressed Ms Edwards screamed as she followed him down the road.
‘I can’t believe you did this. You cannot take him!’
Mr Gillespie replied: ‘I can’t believe you took him in the first place.’
The distraught woman rings the police before calling her friend Anne to return to the dog park to help.
Minutes later, a confused Oscar is at the centre of another ugly altercation when the friend tries to grab the dog from Mr Gillespie’s arms.
‘I would like him back please Mark,’ Anne demanded.
‘I don’t care what you are doing. Do not touch me or the dog,’ Mr Gillespie angrily replied.
Mark Gillespie used the chance meeting at a Kirribilli park to grab Oscar, with former friend Gina Edwards in hot pursuit (pictured)
Oscar (pictured) is at the centre of a bitter long-running stoush between former friends
When police arrived, officers agreed Mr Gillespie could take Oscar home as he is still the registered owner.
But Mr Gillespie had a change of heart the next day.
‘After the incident and all the involvement, I decided it was better I did leave Oscar with Gina for now,’ he later told A Current Affair.
‘But Oscar is much loved and I’ll fight for him in court and follow the due process, but otherwise he needs to be home and running around in his yard here.’
Mr Gillespie used to allow his former friends dog-sit while he was away travelling with his job.
The celebrity pooch (pictured with Sydney Harbour Bridge) is often photographed in various outfits and locations around Sydney
Mark Gillespie is currently embroiled in a bitter battle with two former friends over beloved pooch Oscar (pictured)
He claims Ms Edwards and her husband turned Oscar into an Instagram-famous dog with a following of more than 10,000 fans
The popular Instagram account feature the adorable cavoodle in various outfits and locations around Sydney, often photographed by the Sydney Harbour Bridge or playing outside with friends.
Mr Gillespie claims he was on a cruise in late 2019 when Ms Edwards told him Oscar wouldn’t be returned.
Mr Gillespie claims Ms Edwards and her husband turned Oscar into an Instagram-famous dog with a following of more than 10,000 fans
‘I just want my dog to be a dog,’ he told A Current Affair.
‘I was instantly heartbroken and didn’t think that she would do that to me. I mean, he’s my dog.’
The custody battle is currently before the NSW Supreme Court after a previous hearing in Sydney District Court last August.
Judge Judith Gibson said the court’s ‘hands are effectively tied’ and was forced to transfer the case to the NSW Supreme Court.
‘It may seem a very minor matter for the Supreme Court to be troubled by a dispute about a dog, even a celebrity dog with its own Instagram account, but there would appear to be no alternative,’ she told the court at the time.
Adorable cavoodle Oscar (pictured) has a following of more than 10,000 fans on Instagram