A sexual deviant has been jailed after having sex with a Shetland pony – while his pal dodged a custodial sentence because he was only a teen at the time.
Jordan Turnbull, 28, and Joshua Lee-Paterson, 20, each admitted having an “unnatural connection” with separate horses at Cothal Farm in Fintray.
Turnbull’s offence was committed between October and December 2018, while Lee-Paterson committed bestiality between October and November the same year.
A third male, Mark Findlater, admitted a charge of distributing “obscene material” of his co-accused “engaging in sexual activities with horses” and was jailed for 13 months and two weeks.
The 34-year-old sent the sickening images to a number of addresses in Dyce and elsewhere, and even to The Press and Journal.
Acts were recorded on a mobile phone
Fiscal depute Colin Neilson said the incident happened in a small wooden stable in a field and that all three men were known to each other, with Turnbull and Findlater having been in a relationship about a year up until December 2018.
At the time, the Shetland ponies – named Jack and Ruby – were owned by Findlater, who was in a relationship with Turnbull.
The court heard that between October 1 and December 31 2018, Turnbull “carried out acts of bestiality” on one of the horses.
The acts were filmed on a mobile phone.
Between October 1 and November 29 2018, Lee-Paterson also carried out “acts of bestiality” on one of the horses.
An air compression device was also used.
Again, the acts were filmed on a mobile phone.
‘Controlling and coercive behaviour’
Between January 17 and February 11 2020, Findlater sent a number of packages to people containing letters “describing the acts of bestiality undertaken by the co-accused” along with images depicting the acts.
The images were sent to various people including the manager of a hotel, residents of several farms and cottages, and a P&J reporter.
Lee-Paterson was traced and arrested on February 5 2020 and, during the police interview, said he had been “coerced into carrying out the acts on the horse by Findlater”.
Mr Neilson said: “He said that Findlater had threatened to harm the horses if he didn’t carry out the acts.”
Two days later, Turnbull was also traced and arrested and gave a no comment interview.
Findlater also gave a no comment interview when traced and arrested.
Solicitor Stuart Murray, representing Lee-Paterson, said the offence had taken place when his client was “on the cusp of turning 18”.
He added a court-ordered social work report contained discussion over concerns of “controlling and coercive behaviour” from Findlater.
Regarding the offence, Mr Murray went on: “He’s struggling to come to terms with the fact he has taken part in that type of behaviour.
“The report states Mr Paterson was not driven or motivated by any sexual attraction to animals.”
The solicitor said his client suffered from “worrying mental health issues and had been “coerced” into committing the offence.
Defence agent James Caird, representing Findlater, said: “He was not involved in the abuse of the animals or in any way present when the photos were taken.
“He received these images as a member of a social media group.”
Mr Caird said his client suffered from mental health problems, adding: “His position is he was a whistle-blower in this matter.”
Findlater had also sent letters and images to police and the SSPCA to report the matter.
The solicitor said: “His actions are the reason these proceedings are brought in the first place.”
He also accepted Findlater had a previous conviction for possession of “similar material”.
Lawyer Mathew Patrick, appearing for Turnbull, said his client had also been pressured into committing the offence.
He said: “Were it not for that intimidation, it’s certain, Mr Turnbull’s position is, this offence would not have taken place.”
‘That is really quite concerning’
Mr Patrick said his client is “otherwise a respectable member of society” and runs his own firm.
He explained Turnbull suffered from psychological difficulties, added: “It does seem to me he’s easily open to suggestion and easily led and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that played some part in this.”
Sheriff Philip Mann jailed Findlater, of Sidlaw Range, Kirriemuir, for 13 months and two weeks. The sheriff highlighted his record and said he should not have subjected people to the “disgusting material”.
Lee-Paterson, of Bell Place, Bagshot in England, was handed 18 months supervision and 225 hours of unpaid work as an alternative to custody. He was also made subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act for 18 months.
Sheriff Mann said: “I have noted you were 17 just going on 18 at the time of the offence. It’s that and only that that persuades me I can deal with you without imposing a custodial sentence.”
Turnbull, of Meigle Street, Galashiels, was jailed for seven months and made subject to the notification requirements for 10 years.