A man accused of having sex with a Shetland pony has been found not guilty of sexual intercourse, but has been jailed for four years for ‘outraging public decency’.
Alan Barnfield, aged 44, was found not guilty of having sex with the horse in the dead of night, but jurors found he was guilty of outraging public decency.
Sheffield Crown Court had heard Barnfield was found ‘sweating profusely and smelled strongly of horses’ when he was spoken to by police officers at Oak Tree Stables on Rakes Lane, Loversall, Doncaster.
Residents who thought Barnfield, of Hexthorpe Lane, Doncaster, was going to steal two ponies, rang the police after they saw him acting suspiciously at around half past midnight on August 8 2012.
But Judge Kelson QC told Barnfield in court today that the verdict shows the jury are sure Barnfield did injure the horse through a sexual assault, ‘but cannot be sure’ he had intercourse with the horse.
He was found not guilty of having sex with an animal, but handed four years in prison for outraging public decency.
Mr Kelson added: “The outrage to public decency is enormous.”
A victim impact statement was read out in court.
Jodie Walton, owner of Sky, the Shetland pony involved in the incident, told the court: “After Sky suffered her injuries, she would only stay in a small area away from where the incident happened.”
Ms Walton said Sky would ‘shake and tremble’ and kick out at people after the attack.
She said she eventually had to give Sky to a friend so the pony could ‘start afresh and get her confidence back’
Ms Walton said giving Sky up had been ‘devastating’, especially for her young son
Judge Peter Kelson QC said Sky had several injuries indicating she had been sexually assaulted.
He told the court there were no similar cases he could refer to in sentencing due to the ‘unique and repulsive’ facts of this one.
He added: “What you did to Sky changed her personality completely and caused her extreme pain.
“Sky was traumatised, she is a living creature who you caused great pain to.
“There is no credit to you whatsoever. You lied through your teeth to the jury.”