Woman who performed sex acts on dog spared jail and ordered to attend rehab

A judge labelled the men said to have forced 41-year-old Sarah Meredith to perform the sex act on the Patterdale terrier in Birkenhead, Merseyside, “grotesque”

A woman who performed sex acts on a dog claims she was “forced” to do it.

Sarah Meredith, 41, was spared jail and ordered to attend rehab over the incident involving a Patterdale terrier.

She claimed she was “forced” to perform the sex acts by men who egged her on.

A judge labelled the men “grotesque” and said Meredith was also the victim of abuse that day, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The men have not yet faced prosecution, and Meredith has refused to identify them, the court heard.

Wirral Magistrates’ Court was told Meredith, of no fixed address, had taken Philip Thomas’ dog for a walk from Birkenhead, when she abused the animal.

Paula Groggan, prosecuting, today told the court that police were made aware of the incident after a video of the act was sent to the dog’s owner.

They arrived at his address where he showed officers the video – after which he was charged with possessing extreme pornography and admitted the offence at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on August 20.

Ms Groggan explained that there were two video clips.

In one, a male is seen holding the dog underneath its front legs while Meredith is “egged on” to perform the act.

The second video shows Meredith performing a different sex act on the dog.

In both videos people who do not appear on the video can be heard laughing.

The court heard that after taking the dog for a walk for Thomas, who suffers from mobility issues, Meredith told his mother she had “done something really bad” but would not divulge what.

In interview she told officers that while in the park two males, who she refused to name, threatened her with violence and told her to perform a sex act on the dog.

Meredith told officers the men spat on her and explained she wasn’t aware she was being filmed.

Ms Groggan said: “She was ashamed and disgusted in herself for doing it.”

She confirmed that the dog was seized and after being examined by a vet suffered no physical injuries, but Ms Groggan noted that during the video it appears distressed.

The court heard Meredith has a “lengthy record”.

Meredith pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at Wirral Magistrates’ Court on August 18 this year.

Sarah Fergusson, defending, said: “It’s fair to say this is a highly unusual case.”

Ms Fergusson explained that Meredith is set to be picked up for a rehab clinic tomorrow, where she may remain for up to two years.

She said: “The basis of her offending is her vulnerability.”

Ms Fergusson explained that Meredith was particularly vulnerable in the lead-up to the incident.

She asked the judge to look at suspending any custodial threshold to allow Meredith to go to rehab and address “the problem that caused this offending behaviour.”

Ms Fergusson explained that in the past Meredith had been clean and sober for six and a half years.

The court also heard that while Meredith does have a number of previous convictions it is the “record of somebody who relies on illicit substances”, noting she has no convictions of a similar nature to this incident.

District Judge James Hatton, sentencing, acknowledged Meredith had faced a “number of issues “including “significant mental health issues” and “significant drug abuse”.

The judge also commented on her “traumatic experiences” which “has no doubt contributed to the fact you have started using heroin again and struggling with your mental health”.

District Judge Hatton said: “That animal was treated appallingly.”

The judge accepted that the offence crossed the threshold of custody, but said that Meredith is also “vulnerable” and was victimised by the “grotesque” men who have not yet faced prosecution.

The judge said: “You are also a victim, you were also abused in a sickening manner by those individuals.”

He suspended Meredith’s 16-week sentence for 18 months and ordered her to complete 30 Rehabilitation Activity Requirements.

Meredith was also banned from keeping animals for five years.

The judge ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.