A FRUSTRATED pensioner who molested a pig when "the demon from within" took hold of him has escaped jail.

Thomas Leatham, 72, was spotted standing semi-naked behind Annie, an eight-year-old Saddleback sow.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Leatham quickly crouched down behind the pig to obscure the view of a shocked mother and daughter, who ran away to call the police.

Prosecutor Revantha Amarasinha said: "When the police arrived, they discovered a light skinned black male who was naked from the waist down standing at the rear of the pig and with his back to the officers.

Leatham darted off and got dressed before telling officers: "I've been very naughty. I've been with an animal."

DNA evidence also proved Leatham had been in direct contact with the animal, at Stepping Stones Farm in Stepney, east London.

Leatham, from Windrush House, Willmont Street, Woolwich, admitted outraging public decency by committing a lewd act with the pig on August 12 last year.

The defendant, who has a wife in her 30s, admitted molesting the pig but denied having intercourse with the quarter ton animal.

Interviewed by a psychiatrist, he said: "I was frustrated and I wasn't thinking right. The demon that was in me took hold of me."

Ann Mulligan, defending, said Leatham had voluntarily undergone psychological treatment and had pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.

She said: "He is still trying to come to terms with what happened on that day in August last year."

Judge Rodney McKinnon sentenced him to 100 hours community punishment.


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