A man has received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to one count of committing bestiality.

Fifty-one-year-old Anthony Dennis Stokes from South Australia, by this ruling, has been spared further jail time for having sex with a friend’s dog.

The Adelaide District Court was told Thursday (Aug. 25) that Stokes was using methamphetamines when he filmed himself performing sex acts with and on the dog.

Judge Timothy Heffernan said the offense was committed between January and September of 2019 and involved a dog belonging to a woman Stokes met in 2018.

Stokes had stayed at the woman’s home for a brief period in 2019 as he helped her move house.

In June 2020, the woman found an SD card in her new home that she did not recognise.

She accessed it and discovered a video of Stokes engaging in sexual acts with her dog.

Stokes was touching the dog’s genitalia and encouraging the dog to lick his own, the video showed.

The woman was “distressed and sickened” by the video. So, she alerted the police. 

Stokes was arrested in November 2020.

Judge Heffernan said Stokes declined answering police questions but indicated he knew what they were referring to.

The court was told that prior to the offence Stokes had lost his job and started using methylamphetamines.

“It has been apparent to me since your first appearance in this court that you are profoundly ashamed and embarrassed by your conduct,” Judge Heffernan said.

“This offence occurred on an occasion when you were significantly under the influence on methylamphetamines.

“You did something that you would not, without the drugs, ever have contemplated doing.

“That you were under the influence of methylamphetamine does not excuse your conduct, it does not make it any less serious a breach of the law than it is, but it does perhaps explain what would otherwise be unfathomable behaviour on your part.”

Judge Heffernan said Stokes had instructed his counsel to place him at the mercy of the court, allowing any kind of sentence deemed necessary.

“There is no evidence that the animal was in any distress or pain because of your actions,” he said.

“I am satisfied that you were not motivated in committing the offence by any genuine sexual attraction to the dog but rather by the impact of your methylamphetamine’s intoxication.”

He added the act caused significant upset to the dog’s owner and there was a need to protect the community from this kind of offence.

“The only appropriate sentence is to impose a term of imprisonment, and I sentence you to three months imprisonment,” Judge Heffernan said.

After applying the discount for Stokes’ early plea, his sentence was reduced to two months, 17 days.

That sentence was suspended subject to a good behaviour bond.


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