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A man who was caught having sex with a horse has been jailed for eight months.
Phillip Henry, 34, was heard "giggling" while he forced himself upon the animal with his trousers around his ankles in a field at a private stable in Dover, Kent, on April 16, 2021.
He was caught red-handed by an employee and fled the scene but was arrested when his DNA was found in a sample taken from the cob pony he had assaulted, Betty.
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Appearing at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday (March 15), Henry admitted to the "vile" sex act and said he was suffering from stress and bereavement after having initially denied a bestiality charge.
When a judge handed the pervert an eight-month prison sentence he said: "Oh, that's not good."
Prosecutor Don Ramble described the moment Sarah Irons, the employee who caught Henry in the act, spotted the brazen offender abusing the horse at Longhill Livery.
"He was standing behind the horse that was missing from the others, and so Miss Irons went over to investigate, and not long after she saw clearly what was happening," he said.
"The defendant was wearing yellow high-visibility trousers, and these were down by his ankles. He was thrusting back and forth from behind the horse. She did not run away – she instead screamed at the defendant."
Mr Ramble said Henry then "casually pulled up his trousers, still exposing himself" before being chased by Miss Irons and managing to escape.
The astounded employee then notified the horse's owner, former Mayor and Dover Town councillor Neil Rix, who called his vet to have swabs taken from the horse's vagina.
Samples taken during these tests contained the defendant’s DNA, prompting police to visit Henry's home on July 10, finding 13.3 grams of cannabis during the visit.
Henry was arrested for cannabis possession, which he admitted, and for his vile crime against the horse, which he initially didn't comment on.
At his plea and trial preparation hearing he claimed he dispatched his semen in the field and the horse had sat in it – however at his trial earlier this week he finally admitted the bizarre sex act.
A psychiatric report ordered by the court found there were no causes for concern.
Sentencing, Judge Douglas Marks Moore said Henry's actions were "beyond contemplation – reprehensible, appalling, disgusting”.
"In my judgement there is sometimes an offence of such a nature that courts must mark society's disapproval and abhorrence," he said.
"And in my view this is such a case."
Henry will also remain on the sex offenders' register following the incident.
Meanwhile Betty's owner Mr Rix, who bought the horse for his grandchildren six years ago, branded Henry "scum".
"It’s absolutely vile," he said.
"What frightens me is that it was an adult who caught him, but it could’ve quite easily have been one of my grandchildren.
"He’s scum and needs locking up with the key chucked away."
Thankfully, the court heard Betty the horse emerged from the ordeal unharmed.
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