Adam Britton: Crocodile expert 'emotional' in court as he faces sentencing for rape and torture of pet dogs

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British crocodile expert Adam Britton, convicted of committing heinous acts of rape and torture against numerous pet dogs, became visibly emotional when his psychiatric condition was brought up during his sentencing hearing.

A security guard had to hand him a box of tissues as he struggled to maintain his composure. The 53-year-old Yorkshire born zoologist, had admitted to 63 charges, including animal abuse, bestiality, and possession of child exploitation material, at Darwin's Supreme Court last year.

Court documents revealed that over a span of two years, Britton, who once worked with naturalist Sir David Attenborough acquired around 42 dogs through Gumtree Australia, explicitly to torture and kill them on video before his arrest in April 2022. His abuse resulted in the death of 39 canines.

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During his trial, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory heard that he had a "sadistic sexual interest" in animals, and in particular dogs. Chief Justice Michael Grant excused many from the courtroom during the proceedings, explaining: "These facts contain material that can only be described as grotesque and perverse acts of cruelty which is confronting and distressing and which in my assessment have the potential to cause nervous shock."

Britton is believed to have sourced the animals from pet owners in the Darwin region, where he resided, who "reluctantly" gave their animals away to the zoologist due to work or travel commitments. He would then house them inside a shipping container on his property, which was kitted out with filming equipment to capture footage of the rape and torture of the animals.

His arrest came after an internet user identified a dog in his videos by its distinctive leash, leading to the tracking of its owner. Prosecutors revealed Britton's use of Telegram to communicate with others about his crimes, boasting about his "kill count" and detailing his acquisition and abuse of pets. In the raid following his arrest, authorities confiscated numerous devices and found 15 files of child abuse materials on his laptop.

At the sentencing hearing on Thursday (July 11), Britton appeared in a beige shirt, with several pet owners and a relative of his ex-wife in the public gallery. Outside, protesters displayed signs calling for severe punishment.

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The court was informed that Britton suffered from paraphilia, a condition involving abnormal sexual desires that are distressing or harmful. Despite undergoing 30 sessions with a psychologist and expressing remorse, Britton's case was adjourned for a further psychiatric report, with the next hearing set for August 8.