ATTENTION: disturbing content
A South Australian man who pleaded guilty to a charge of bestiality was spared further prison, receiving a suspended sentence for performing a sexual act on a friend’s dog.
The Adelaide District Court was told Thursday that Anthony Dennis Stokes, 51, was using methamphetamine when he filmed himself engaging in sexual acts with and on the dog.
Judge Timothy Heffernan said the offense, between January and September 2019, involved a dog owned by a woman that Stokes met in 2018.
He had stayed with the woman for a short time in 2019, helping her move.
In June 2020, the woman found an SD card in her new home that she didn’t recognize.
Upon logging in, she discovered a video of Stokes engaging in a sexual act with his dog.
The video showed Stokes touching the dog’s genitals and encouraging the dog to lick hers.
The dog’s owner was “shocked and disgusted” by the video and alerted the police, who arrested Stokes in November 2020.
Judge Heffernan said Mr. Stokes refused to answer police questions, but indicated he knew what they were referring to.
The court was told that prior to the crime, Mr. Stokes had started using methylamphetamine and had lost his job.
“It has been clear to me from your first appearance in court that you are deeply ashamed and embarrassed by your conduct,” Judge Heffernan said.
“This offense occurred on an occasion when you were significantly under the influence of methylamphetamines.
“You did something you would never have considered doing without the drugs.
“The fact that you were under the influence of methylamphetamine does not justify your conduct, it does not make it a less serious violation of the law than it is, but it could explain what otherwise would be unfathomable behavior on your part.”
Judge Heffernan said Stokes had asked his lawyer to hand him over to court and allow any kind of conviction he deemed necessary.
“There is no evidence that the animal was in distress or pain due to your actions,” he said.
“I am pleased that you were not motivated to commit the crime by a genuine sexual attraction to the dog, but rather by the impact of your methylamphetamine intoxication.”
He said the act caused considerable upset to the dog owner and that there was a need to protect the community from this type of crime.
“The only appropriate sentence is to impose a prison sentence, and I sentence you to three months in prison,” Judge Heffernan said.
After applying the reduction for Mr. Stokes, his sentence was reduced to two months and 17 days.
This sentence was suspended subject to a bond of good conduct.