Man guilty of having sex with ex-wife's bull mastiff dog
Thursday 28 June 2012
A father of three has been found guilty of having sex with his ex-wife's bull mastiff dog.
Kelly Thacker told Gloucester Crown Court she was shocked to discover her ex-husband Nicholas Saunders, 46, in her bed having intercourse with the animal on January 15 last year.
During the two-day trial Ms Thacker, who has teenage twins with Saunders, told the court she had rejected her ex-husband's advances towards her after he had a fight with his bi-polar girlfriend and had sought comfort at her home.
It was soon afterwards she found him having sex with her female dog, Sasha.
Saunders, who separated from Ms Thacker 13 years ago, denied the charge and claimed his ex-wife had seen him merely "climbing over the dog" to get out of bed to use the toilet.
As the jury of five men and seven women returned the unanimous verdict Saunders, dressed in a dark suit and tie, looked to the floor and shook his head.
Recorder Stewart Patterson adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports to be completed.
Speaking directly to Saunders, of Lechlade, Gloucestershire, the judge said: "The jury have found you guilty. It is an unusual offence and unusual behaviour.
"I want to know more about you and the offence so I am going to adjourn this matter for pre-sentence reports until the 27th July."
The jury was told Saunders, a fencing contractor, and his ex-wife had remained on good terms following their separation and Saunders went to her house at around 1.45am.
The prosecution said he was looking for more than just comfort that night and when Ms Thacker made it clear to him he did not have a chance with her, he turned to the large female dog.
Giving evidence, Ms Thacker, who owns a male boxer as well as the bull mastiff, said Saunders had told the dog: "You've just ruined my chances" when it jumped onto the bed inbetween herself and her ex-husband.
She told the court she took this to mean he had wanted to have sex with her.
After going downstairs she heard her ex-husband whistle to the dogs - calling them to come upstairs.
A little while later she went to check on Saunders, who she said had been "a little bit drunk".
But when she got half way up the stairs she looked through the banisters and saw something that left her in utter shock.
"It was just too quiet, whereas he'd been mumbling before, so I thought I would just go and check," she said.
"I didn't go all the way up, just halfway to the top banister.
"The bull mastiff was leant on her side and he (Saunders) was trying to guide his penis into her.
"I think I must have hit some kind of shock and I hid back a bit. I then looked round again.
"He was on all fours holding her thighs. He was having intercourse with her. She wasn't even moving."
Ms Thacker added: "It was just utter shock, you don't think anything like this could happen."
But during the trial Saunders told the court it was in fact him who spurred Ms Thacker's advances that night and claimed he merely "tolerated" his ex-wife for the sake of their children.
He claimed it was because he had not wanted to sleep with her that she had made up the allegation against him.
"The allegation is a total lie," he told the court yesterday.
But following his arrest Saunders was asked to provide an "intimate sample" from his penis, which, following forensic examinations, showed a 100% match to the DNA of a domestic dog.
Frank Abbott, prosecuting, said it would have been an "incredible coincidence" that DNA was found on a "fairly inaccessible" part of Saunders, backing up what Ms Thacker told the court she had seen.
Mr Abbott told the court the case had caused "a considerable degree of distress" to Saunders' ex-wife and their daughters.
Saunders was granted bail on the condition he does not contact his ex-wife and family.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register at a police station within three days.
Sarah Jenkins, defending, had asked the Recorder to pass sentence today, suggesting that a community order would be sufficient punishment.
But the Recorder told her: "It is an unusual offence and an unusual way to behave.
"I want to get to the bottom of it and find out whether your client needs some help."
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