Robert Newman, 23, from Wiltshire, has admitted having sex with a goat, contrary to s.69 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and has subsequently been banned from every farm in the country.
Newman originally denied the offence but changed his plea to guilty and has been bailed pending the preparation of a pre-sentence report. As part of his bail conditions, he had been banned from entering any land where farm animals are kept, as well as a curfew from 7pm to 7am. His next appearance at North West Wiltshire Magistrates’ Court will be on 12th September, where he will be sentenced for the offence.
There are sentencing guidelines for the offence, which state:
Factors to take into consideration:
1. The sentences for public protection must be considered in all cases. They are designed to ensure that sexual offenders are not released into the community if they present a significant risk of serious harm.
2. This replaces the previous offence of ‘buggery’ with an animal, for which the maximum penalty was life imprisonment. The maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment attached to this offence is sufficient to recognise an offender’s predisposition towards unnatural sexual activity.
3. A custodial sentence for an adult for this offence will result in an obligation to comply with notification requirements and this seems to be the most appropriate course of action for a repeat offender. The offence can be charged in addition to existing offences relating to cruelty to animals.
4. A pre-sentence report, which can identify sexually deviant tendencies, will be extremely helpful in determining the most appropriate disposal. It will also help determine whether an offender would benefit from participation in a programme designed to help them address those tendencies.
The offence carries a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment. The basic offence, with no aggravating or mitigating factors, will usually result in a non-custodial sentence, often a community order. Aggravating factors include recording the activity and/or circulating pictures or videos, whereas the offence being committed as a symptom of isolation rather than depravity will be a mitigating factor. Offenders will automatically be subject to notification requirements.
The CPS guidance on the offence can be found here.
The Evening Standard have linked to a “similar but unrelated” case in their article:
Father of three Nicholas Saunders was convicted of having sex with his ex-wife’s dog.
He was caught having intercourse with the four-year-old bull mastiff called Sasha in former wife Kelly Thacker’s bed.
Saunders, of Lechlade, Glos, was placed under supervision and ordered to attend a sex offenders course.
He was placed on the sex offenders register for the next five years.
He was also given a four-year restraining order preventing him from entering his ex-wife’s home without her written permission or by court order.
The specifics of Newman’s offence are unknown and so it’s difficult to predict what sentence he will receive, but we’ll update this post following sentence.