A dangerous offender has been found guilty by a jury of having sex with a horse stabled near his home.
Julian Mark Ridgeway was unanimously convicted at Leeds Crown Court today (Friday, December 23) of trespassing at an outbuilding in South Lane, Netherton, Wakefield with intent to commit a sexual offence on May 10, this year and of intercourse with an animal between April 18 to May 10.
The 53-year-old was seen leading the mare called Honey from its stabling on the evening of May 10 by the owners who were keeping watch because they were suspicious something was going on.
They challenged Ridgeway who ran off but when the horse was later examined semen was found with a DNA matching his, indicating he had had sex with her on a previous occasion.
The jury heard during the trial that in 1990 Ridgeway was caught in a “compromising” situation with a pony while he was naked from the waist down.
But it was only after the verdicts that the 10 man two woman jury heard the full circumstances of how he choked the pony’s 16-year-old owner “within an inch of her life” when she disturbed him washing the pony’s rear end.
He was convicted in 1991 of attempting to murder her and jailed for eight years. The prosecution described how he choked her unconscious to silence her after she found him with her mare Ripple in a field off Denby Dale Road.
Sentencing Ridgeway on that occasion Mr Justice Jowett said: “You were about to behave in a disgusting manner with her pony and when she surprised you, you quite plainly decided she should not live to tell the tale.”
Having choked her once, when she began to come round Ridgeway choked her again trying to kill her.
“It is quite clear to me, but for the fortunate appearance of her mother on the scene you would have kept the pressure on her throat and made no mistake about it the second time, and she would have died,” said the judge.
Ridgeway denied at that trial interfering with the horse and was led from the court after his conviction protesting “I have never had sex with a horse.”
In the recent trial Ridgeway again maintained he had no sexual fascination with horses and denied having had sex with Honey but said he had inserted his fingers into her to see what her reaction would be earlier on May 10.
After the verdict Ridgeway was further remanded in custody for psychiatric reports after Recorder Paul Greaney QC told him: “A man with your level of deviance clearly needs help.”
After the case Det Con Donna Moss said “Credit must go to the horse’s owner for making her own investigations. The jury made the right decision to make sure this persistent dangerous offender is put behind bars.”