What is Bestiality and its Penalties in NSW?


Brace yourself, this article involves a man, a woman and a dog named Nala.

It’s reported that a 44-year-old man and 54-year-old woman have allegedly committed a sexual act with a female dog named Nala in their home.

The alleged bestiality was filmed, and is reported to have occurred on 9 July 2019 in the couple’s home in Elderslie, NSW.

The couple have been arrested since, and appeared self-represented before Local Court Magistrate Cheetham at the Picton Local Court last Tuesday.

They were released on bail under strict conditions. One of the conditions prohibit the couple from having the custody of the dog or any animal.

His Honour Magistrate Cheetham suggested that the pair get legal advice and representation before their next appearance at the court on 10 March 2020.

While no plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ has yet been entered by the couple, after the matter was mentioned in court last Tuesday, the couple were approached by reporters outside the court house.

It’s reported that the 44-year-old man said to one reporter that these charges are an “invasion of his privacy”.

Just last year, a 28-year-old man avoided imprisonment after being found guilty of having sex with his pet dog.

What is Bestiality and its Penalties in NSW?

Animals can’t defend, or talk to voice their views or thoughts.

Having sex with an animal is considered a criminal act in NSW, and an act which carries with it heavy penalties- including a criminal conviction and jail time.

In NSW, under the law, bestiality is when there is sexual penetration of an animal, which has been defined in the case of R v Brown (1889) 24 QBD 357.

NSW has many laws to protect animals, including section 79 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which prohibits the act of bestiality, prescribing a maximum penalty of 14-years jail.

Section 80 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prohibits anyone from attempting to commit an act of bestiality in NSW, prescribing a maximum penalty of 5-years jail.

Interestingly, while cases of bestiality are rare, imprisonment is normally not imposed by courts unless there are unusual aggravating factors involved in the offence. An English Court has said, that it’s the offender who would require the help, not necessarily the animal.

In NSW, the types of penalties that can be imposed include, a section 10 non-conviction, Conditional Release Order with or without a conviction (CRO), Community Corrections Order (CCO), Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) and Full-time Jail.

For an offence of bestiality and most sexual offences, an Intensive Corrections Order is not an available sentencing penalty option to an offender by a court. This is due to the fact that the offence of bestiality is considered a “prescribed sexual offence” under section 67(1)(b) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW).

What is an Intensive Correction Order penalty?

An Intensive Correction Order (ICO) is a term of imprisonment penalty, except a person who is sentenced to an ICO order will not go to full-time jail. He/she will instead remain within the community, but will be subject to conditions with supervision in the community.

What’s the purpose of imposing an ICO on an offender who would otherwise go to full-time jail for an offence? The purpose of imposing an ICO is to cater for and address the main contributing factors as to why the offender committed the crime in the first place.

The purpose of an ICO is to rehabilitate the offender for the benefit of the safety of the community. By imposing conditions to address the reason(s) for offending, it reduces the risk of re-offending which in turn benefits the community.

Call our team 24/7 to discuss this further with one of our specialist criminal lawyers in Parramatta or CBD Sydney.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.


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