by Doogue & O'Brien Criminal Defence Lawyers

The Maximum Penalty for Bestiality in Melbourne - How serious is this charge?             

There is a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for anyone found guilty of Bestiality charge. This is a rare but nevertheless serious offence that may carry a prison term on a finding of guilt. Cases that involve this charge are primarily heard in the Magistrates’ Court.


The legislation on Bestiality

Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1958 is the relevant law for Bestiality and is as follows:




(1) A person must not commit an act of bestiality.


Penalty: Level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum).


(2) An act of bestiality is any of the following-


   (a)  buggery committed by a man on an animal of either sex;

   (b)  buggery committed by an animal on a man or woman;

   (c)  penetration of the vagina of an animal by the penis of a man;

   (d)  penetration of the vagina of a woman by the penis of an animal.


(3) The law relating to buggery is as set out in this Act and no prosecution shall be instituted for an offence of buggery unless it is for an offence under this section.


Pleading guilty or not guilty to Bestiality in a Melbourne Court

Deciding on whether to plead guilty to Bestiality or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there could be severe consequences.


Elements of the charge of a Bestiality case in a Melbourne Court

The Prosecution must show that the defendant either committed buggery on an animal or had an animal commit buggery on the defendant. Alternatively, there could have been penetration of the vagina of an animal by the penis of the defendant, or a penetration of the vagina of the defendant by the penis of an animal.


Defending the charge of Bestiality in a Melbourne Court

Defences that are often run in relation to these charges are often mental impairment type defences especially where a defendant has psychological issues. Duress is also used in some cases depending on the circumstances of the case. Factual and identification disputes also arise whenever details are found to have errors or are inconsistent.


For more information on Bestiality, you may visit the Australian Defence Lawyers Association site (click here) and also the Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here).


Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne can provide you more detail about this

Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne

Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)


This article was written on Aug. 16, 2012 and relates to the law that it stands at this time.



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