On 12 FEBRUARY 1895 Seventeen-year -old George Statham Mansfield appeared at the Leicestershire Assizes charged with committing an unnatural offence with a sheep at Ratcliffe Culey on 25 November 1894. The only witness against him stated that he saw Mansfield driving sheep across a field, became suspicious of his conduct and so observed the offence actually being committed. Mr Justice Hawkins submitted the witness to a thorough interrogation and seemed unable to comprehend why he had not stopped the offence, saying that his inaction reflected badly on his humanity and intelligence and that it was lamentable that he hadn’t acted to prevent a young person getting into trouble. The jury found Mansfield guilty of attempting the alleged offence and he was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment with hard labour.
According to 'Sir Howard Vincent Police Code 1889' (republished in 2015: Neil Bell & Adam Wood) Beastiality is the crime of men defiling themselves with beasts, and is punishable in England by a minimum sentence of ten years ' penal servitude. It is desirable that such charges should be supported by at least two witnesses.
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