A young man, who had sex with a horse, was accused by the owner of having “raped” her family’s pet.
The woman emotionally made her accusation before Isaac Cluley was sentenced for his “unusual” offending.
The 23-year-old pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of sexual penetration of a living animal last August.
He also admitted possessing extreme pornography, relating to mobile phone footage of the pony and two obscene and perverted images downloaded from the internet.
Leicester Crown Court was told Cluley was prosecuted in 2016 for an earlier offence of having sex with a different horse – when he was given a community order.
Andrew Fitch-Holland, prosecuting, said a friend of the defendant’s chanced upon the video when borrowing his phone last summer.
Cluley was drunk at the time and the concerned friend wanted to phone his mother – and was shocked to see the footage with the pony.
The police then became involved.
Cluley, described as having learning difficulties, was in “considerable distress” following his arrest and officers were concerned for his wellbeing.
The defendant told them: “I want help with my mental health, it’s why I’ve been drinking more lately.”
The horse’s owner attended court to read a personal impact statement.
She said she purchased the Shetland 10 years ago for her five year-old-son, and the two had grown up together.
Before being informed of the incident by the police, she said she suspected her horses had been “frightened in some way” in their field because of a noticeable change in their behaviour – particularly the small 10 hands high Shetland mare.
The pony was unusually fearful and nervous and suddenly began acting threateningly towards her teenage son, as if to kick him.
Sobbing with emotion, she spoke of the distress caused to her family and the expense of having to install a £286 CCTV field camera to watch her animals grazing, in the Leicester area.
A veterinary forensic examination of the pony cost her £60.
The Shetland is now kept locked in a stable overnight, when it was used to being outdoors, as the offence is thought to have happened in the early hours.