R v Dodd, 2021 OJ 6084

The accused was found guilty of break and enter and attempted bestiality after he was caught trying to sexually assault a miniature horse. The reasons for judgment can be found here.

The sentencing judge began their decision by stating that the offences were considered to be serious and disturbing to the public, that society has little tolerance for offences that involve animal cruelty, and reiterated a passage read by the Crown: “I think it’s very appropriate to remind everyone that we do not think of pets simply as property, but recognize they are living creatures and recognize that for many people they provide companionship and comfort’ (para. 2).

The judge heard that the accused’s behaviour had a considerable and lasting impact on the miniature horse’s owners: on their lives, their sense of well-being, their business and on the miniature horse itself. It was noted that the accused had no previous record, but there were mental health issues as well as issues with substance abuse, school and employment.

Both the presentencing report and sexual behaviours report found that the accused had an interest in animal pornography, while the sexual behaviours report went further to reveal an interest in coercive situations and an interest in children. At the time of the sentencing hearing, the accused had been going to counseling, and was back at school with family support.

The Crown and defence gave a joint submission ‘designed to provide the longest possible treatment’ (para. 8) of a conditional sentence for two years followed by three years of probation. The accused also made an agreement through counsel to pay the farm owners restitution in an undisclosed amount for the losses they sustained.

Factors included in the conditional sentence: for the first year of the sentence the accused would be subject to house arrest except for purposes of school, work, treatment and counselling as approved by the supervisor, and subject to a curfew between midnight and 6:00AM daily for the second year. The accused would be mandated to continue with existing counselling as well as any other treatment program or assessments as deemed necessary by the supervisor, a no-contact order for the road and stables as well as with the owners of the miniature horse, no attendance at any farm except with another responsible adult, and to abstain from alcohol and non-prescription drugs.

An animal prohibition was also ordered for the five year period of the conditional sentence and probation, along with a Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) order in effect for ten years under section 490.012 of the Criminal Code.