Weird

A factory worker has been jailed for four years after he was cleared of having sex with a Shetland pony but convicted of outraging public decency.

Both the perversion and the law.

The judge pointed out that, while the outraging public decency charge was only added halfway through the trial, it actually carried an unlimited sentence whereas the main charge he was cleared of – intercourse with an animal – carries a two-year maximum.

The second charge was added when lawyers in the case realised that Barnfield could only be found guilty of the central charge if he had actually had penetrative sex with the animal and that he would have to be aquitted if this could not be proved.

I don’t think I agree with that. I’m pretty sure that I want whatever the charges are to be set at the beginning of the trial. And if they don’t apply the right ones, well, that’s tough. They’ve got one chance at proving tht liberty should be forefeit only.

27 thoughts on “Weird”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    It is a particularly nasty intersection of professional incompetence and utter contempt for civil liberties.

    People should be sacked. Both for screwing up the trial in the first place and for trashing the rule of law along the way. But they won’t be.

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    Outraging public decency carries a tougher sentence (or has the potential to result in) than manslaughter? Or rape?

    What the hell?

    What on Earth could you do to earn an unlimited sentence?

  3. How is outraging public decency defined, given the barnyard goings-on on the average Saturday night in our various city centres? I know the pony was incapable of giving informed consent but was it outraged or a part of the public?

  4. So the penalty for not doing the thing is higher than for doing the thing. That’s what’s wrong here. A law against bumming ponies is fine.. it helps protect ponies from getting bummed. Why do we need a law against exposing the public to the notion of bumming ponies? And if that law is needed, shouldn’t it be applied to the CPS and everyone else who’s been alerted to the notionby this case having been brought?

    Sorry, Tim, but my morals are outraged and I demand justice.

  5. The facts of the case aside, he looks the part, doesn’t he? Straight from central casting. My only surprise was that it didn’t happen somewhere on the Welsh borders.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    Ljh – “How is outraging public decency defined, given the barnyard goings-on on the average Saturday night in our various city centres?”

    I don’t know, when some sleazy German pimp said this about our delicate English Roses, I was offended:

    Beretin says making prostitution legal in the UK isn’t needed. ‘In London, you don’t need a prostitute,’ he chuckles. ‘You just walk into a pub and any drunk fat girl will give you a blowjob.’

    But mainly, because, you know, the truth hurts. Don’t think he should get an indefinite term for it though.

    JuliaM – “Have a crack at a Shire rather than a Shetland?”

    I would have thought the Shire could look after herself. Also that perhaps neither of them would even notice. I mean if you consider what God intended to be natural for this species …..

  7. “In his rucksack officers found several cans of Lynx deodorant, a length of white electrical cable, a handheld water sprayer, a cloth, a metal dog chain and two bottles of Lucozade.”

    They forgot to call this his “rape kit”.

    Had he been “grooming” the horse beforehand?

  8. bloke (not) in spain

    I don’t know, when some sleazy German pimp said this about our delicate English Roses, I was offended:

    Beretin says making prostitution legal in the UK isn’t needed. ‘In London, you don’t need a prostitute,’ he chuckles. ‘You just walk into a pub and any drunk fat girl will give you a blowjob.’

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I do find that so amusing. I’ve heard exactly the same sentiments from chicas work the Navy Bar in Purto Banus when the Britbint holiday crowd show up. They do look & act a lot more like hookers than hookers.

  9. Ridiculous, of course. It also does demonstrate though that in our society, as with supposedly relatively primitive ones, it’s the breaking of taboos that get the really tough punishments, rather than crimes. There is of course no rational reason at all why having sex with an animal is even against the law; other than that it is taboo. In this regard, we’re still stuck in the Bronze Age.

  10. Beretin says making prostitution legal in the UK isn’t needed. ‘In London, you don’t need a prostitute,’ he chuckles. ‘You just walk into a pub and any drunk fat girl will give you a blowjob.’

    Presumably blow jobs from girls who are neither drunk nor fat would have a market value.

  11. IanB: ‘There is of course no rational reason at all why having sex with an animal is even against the law…’

    Consent. Or rather, inability to…

  12. The idea of consent with an animal is meaningless, as is the idea that one can be sexually abused like a human. We don’t apply the same standards to animals, and cannot; which is why I have a freezer full of their butchered corpses.

    If you do want to apply a human standard, you’re going to have to arrest every animal farmer for running a concentration/death camp where the animals are subjected to sex slavery. Do you think breeding stock are asked for consent according to the Saunders Standard?

    If I go out to the shops today, I will be wearing a jacket made from the skin flayed from the corpse of a concentration camp inmate. Terrible.

  13. Also, the slave-dog of one of my schoolfriends should have been arrested for multiple attempts to rape me (like, every time I visited, we never found out why it found me so attractive, but it was a source of some amusement. They hat to lock it out of the room).

    If I had chosen to reciprocate its affection, would it have been classed as consensual?

  14. “I’m pretty sure that I want whatever the charges are to be set at the beginning of the trial. And if they don’t apply the right ones, well, that’s tough. They’ve got one chance at proving tht liberty should be forefeit only”.

    Well, Tim, it does sound like the prosecutor was rather dozy. But the basic rule in law is that you can amend the indictment at any time up to the close of the prosecution case, provided that any such amendment – whether adding a new charge or modifying an existing one – is based on nothing more than the facts as they have already been alleged and, contingently, provided it wouldn’t be unfair to the defendant. And if you think about it, if the first test is passed then most of the time so will the second: the defendant is not being asked to answer to anything he did not already know was alleged, all that’s happened is that the legal title given to the alleged illegality has altered.

    What is unconscionable is changing the basis on which as case is put, or inviting a jury to convict on a different basis from the one put.

  15. Oh, and forgot, amending the indictment has nothing to do with autrefois acquit – because if the indictment is amended it’s still the one and only trial* the defendant is going to face

    * Nothwithstanding retrials where the jury is hung or discharged or where double jeopardy has been abolished under the 2003 CJA (without getting into the merits of this change, it’s usage is still rare).

  16. Horse walks into a courtroom.
    Jury: Why the long face? Guilty as charged!

    All right, maybe Tim should moderate comments.

  17. The evidence for his unbridled lust seems to be a bit chimerical. DNA gets everywhere, so probably all horse riders have some near their genitals.

  18. There is of course no rational reason at all why having sex with an animal is even against the law; other than that it is taboo.

    I understand the origin is in disease control. It’s really not healthy for humans to be shagging animals, and in years gone by it was probably a good idea to miminise intimate human-animal contact.

  19. Tim N-

    That sounds like the same kind of post hoc explanation as circumcision and not eating pork being public health measures to me. Diseases can jump to humans much more easily by our butchering and eating animals, or just contact through husbandry, than as STDs.

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