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Bestiality

Bestiality is an offence under section 79 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison

The Act does not set out what the prosecution needs to prove to establish the offence but the common law has found it requires proof of ‘any form of sexual intercourse with an animal’; R v Brown (1889) ‘Penetration is not essential’; R v Bourne (1952)

Courts have further found that, despite the maximum penalty, a prison term is inappropriate unless there are ‘unusual aggravating circumstances’

As ‘it is the accused who needs help, not the dog’; R v Higson (1984)

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