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Liam Brown sentenced after being caught having sex with a calf on Burton Farm, off Martin’s Hill Lane

A man caught having sex with a calf on a Burton farm was badly trampled by cows after trying to flee the scene, a court heard today (Wednesday).

Liam Brown, then 24, was running away from a farmer and his family who had found him in a shed sexually assaulting the young animal.

He vaulted a gate but ended up in a pen full of large cows which attacked him. When rescued, Brown told the farmer: “Sorry, I’m f****d up.”

Liam Brown (picture: BNPS)
Liam Brown (picture: BNPS)

Prosecutor Matthew Mortimer told how farmer Ian Farwell of Burton Farm, off Martin’s Hill Lane, had set up CCTV on the site after cows had become ill, some fatally.

Mr Mortimer told a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court that Liam’s father had been a tractor driver at the farm for 17 years and lived in a cottage nearby, where the defendant also lived.

He said: “Over seven years there were a number of incidents in which cattle had been interfered with. Calves were attacked and items like surgical gloves and clothing discovered.

“There were unexplained deaths in calves and some were found bleeding in the morning.”

The farm in Burton (picture: BNPS)
The farm in Burton (picture: BNPS)

He said that when Mr Farwell installed the CCTV his family, including son Ralph, planned to catch any discovered offender by covering all the exits from the barn.

During the night of 12th June 2022, Ralph Farwell heard a cow sounding in distress, the prosecutor said, and the family rushed to the cattle pen.

In the darkness, the farmer’s daughter had seen the defendant with “his arms around an animal and saw that his trousers were slightly lowered”.

Mr Mortimer said when the light was switched on, Ralph had “seen a male figure clearly having sex with the calf”.

He said there was then a “scene of chaos” as Brown tried to flee. He was trampled to the ground by the cattle and had to be rescued.

The court heard that Brown, who had previously pleaded guilty to sexual penetration with a living animal and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, had used a belt to tie the animal by its neck while he was attacking it.

DNA tests proved he’d had intercourse with the calf.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Farwell spoke of the “distress” Brown’s offending had caused his family.

He said: “Animals are really important to me, and seeing them in distress was heartbreaking.”

Mr Farwell said he had been “truly shocked” and “astounded” to learn what Brown had been doing, adding: “I can’t even begin to understand what has been going on – it was without doubt the worst point of my life.”

In defence, Olivia McGonigle said that Brown, of Grosvenor Gardens, Boscombe, was “very distressed by the pain he has caused”.

The defendant was now living with his mother and being supported by his girlfriend, with whom he planned to move in, the court heard.

Giving Brown a community order for 36 months, Judge Keith Cutler called the case “very alarming, bizarre and really worrying”.

He told him: “You will look back at this with shame and embarrassment but hopefully with a resolve that this will never happen again.”

The farm in Burton (picture: BNPS)
The farm in Burton (picture: BNPS)

But he said there was no direct evidence that Brown, who had no previous convictions, had caused the death of any of the animals.

Brown was also given a 30-day rehabilitation requirement and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned for 10 years from owning or working with livestock and ordered to pay £600 compensation.

Speaking after the court case, Mr Farwell said he believed Brown should have been jailed.

“It has cost me around £100,000 in vet fees.”

His wife Tracey told how the attacks had taken an emotional toll: “I was responsible for feeding them at night, and then in the morning some of them would be ill.

“I thought it was pneumonia as the calves were struggling to breathe, but now I realise he had tied them up with his belt.”

Speaking about Brown, she said: “He was a very quiet boy growing up but you didn’t think there was anything wrong with him.

“We have really struggled to understand why anyone would do what he did.”

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