Accused denies having long-term sexual facination with horses

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A man accused of having sex with a horse denied having a “long-term sexual fascination” with the animals.

Julian Ridgeway gave evidence at a trial where he is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old mare at a farm near his home in Netherton, Wakefield.

Ridgeway, 53, is alleged to have lead the horse, called Honey, into a pig pen in an outbuilding before running away after being disturbed by the animal’s owners.

The horse was later examined by a vet and DNA was recovered from inside the animal which matched Ridgeway’s.

The jury has been told that 25 years ago Ridgeway had been found at a stables in the Wakefield area seemingly about to have sex with a horse.

In another incident in 2011, Ridgeway’s home was searched by police and a video cassette was found of a man having sex with a horse.

Giving evidence, Ridgeway told the court he went onto the farm on the evening of the incident, May 10 this year, after he noticed a burglar alarm going off.

Ridgeway admitted when questioned by his barrister, Matthew Harding, that he had walked behind the horse and put his fingers inside the animal.

Mr Harding asked: “Why did you do that?”

Ridgeway replied: “Just for the sake of it.”

Mr Harding then asked: “Was there any sexual motive for doing it?” Ridgeway answered: “No there wasn’t.”

Ridgeway then explained that the DNA later found inside the horse must have come from his clothing.

During cross examination, prosecutor Patrick Palmer asked Ridgeway: “You have had a long term sexual fascination with horses haven’’t you?”

Ridgeway answered: “No. I do not have that.”

Mr Palmer continued: “You were determined to have sex with this horse on that Tuesday evening weren’t you?”

Ridgeway replied: “No, that’s incorrect.”

The prosecutor continued: “You have had sex with this horse on evenings before that haven’t you?”

Ridgeway replied: “No I have not.”

Ridgeway, 53, of South Lane, Netherton, pleads not guilty to intercourse with an animal and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between April 18 and May 10 this year.