September 2013

Devizes man handed jail sentence for sex with goat


A Devizes man has been sent to prison after admitting having sex with a goat.

Robert Steven Newman, 23, of Potterne Road, pleaded guilty to the offence on August 19 and appeared at the North West Wiltshire Magistrates’ Court, Chippenham, for sentencing today.

The offence took place between April 5 and April 16 at nighttime on a farm in a barn.

A statement read out from the owner of the farm outlined the consequences of his actions that night.

It said: “My husband is worried about my being on the property on my own.

“This person has caused us a considerable amount of money because we have had to have security fitted and pay vets’ bills.”

Mr Newman was given a prison sentence of six weeks for the offence.

He was also given an extra two weeks in prison for breaching a suspended sentence imposed on August 31, which related to a dwelling burglary.

While he was on bail Mr Newman was asked to obey a curfew between 7pm and 7am and was not allowed to enter any land where farm animals are kept.

Mr Newman’s defence lawyer Anna Ellery asked magistrates to consider adjourning the case for a psychiatric report if there was a possibility of a prison sentence.

She said the offence had no aggravating factors. There was no recording of the activity and no circulation of pictures or videos.

She said: “My support for the psychiatric report would be on the basis of Mr Newman’s ability to cope with the sentence.

“I would ask you to consider this is a young man suffering from isolation.

“It’s the unable to remember issue which seems to be the main concern. He has overcome that hurdle and is already on the path to reducing any risks that are of concern.

“This is an offence which is the first of its kind and it’s an isolated incident.”

Ms Ellery also spoke about the burglary which led to Mr Newman’s previous conviction on August 31.

She said: “It was in an empty premise. He went into that premises as a lark with his friends. The items taken were three newspaper flyers.

“He knew the premises was empty but technically it was a dwelling house.”

Towards the end of the hearing she read out a statement from Mr Newman expressing his remorse and his desire to be reconciled with his family.

It said: “I don’t want to be this bad person any more. I just want to get on with my life and do good. I want to stand before you today and then get on with my life.”

The court ignored Ms Ellery’s request for a psychiatric report and magistrate Jennifer Nesbitt told Newman: “You have heavily breached all court orders that have been handed to you. This is your second breach of your suspended court order.

“You will go to prison for eight weeks. For this offence today you will serve six weeks and that will be concurrent rather than consecutive because we accept that this is a one-off, isolated incident.”

Newman was also told he must sign up on the sex offenders’ register.