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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

British state TV documentary maker admits to sex crimes against 40 dogs

A judge warned that the “grotesque” details of the case were enough to cause “nervous shock”

An acclaimed UK crocodile expert and BBC film producer, Adam Britton, has pleaded guilty to over 50 charges linked to sex abuse against animals and children in Australia. The zoologist allegedly tortured and killed dozens of dogs before sharing videos of the crimes on social media.

Britton, 51, entered his guilty plea in Australia’s Northern Territory Supreme Court on Monday, acknowledging that he filmed himself savagely abusing animals in a self-described “torture room” on his property – most of them to death.

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Prosecutors said the filmmaker – who has worked on productions for the BBC, National Geographic, and other major outlets – had a “sadistic sexual interest” in animals that dated back to at least 2014, claiming he had abused some 42 dogs over the last 18 months alone.

Chief Justice Michael Grant warned that the details of the case were extremely graphic, even saying they could be traumatizing for onlookers.

“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,” the judge said.

In addition to 37 counts of animal cruelty and ten others related to animal sex abuse, Britton also pleaded guilty to four charges for accessing and transmitting child abuse material, having allegedly possessed 15 illicit files on his computer.

Britton was said to have used online marketplaces and forums to source animals, many of which came from people seeking to house their pets while they were away for travel. He attempted to build trust and “rapport” with the pet owners, and would present “false narratives” when asked for updates about their beloved animals, sometimes even sending old photos to suggest they were still alive, prosecutors said.

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Kept in a shipping container, Britton’s homemade torture chamber was outfitted with recording equipment, used to capture his horrific crimes and share them online anonymously. Australian police reportedly obtained one such video before Britton’s arrest in April 2022, though the case had been under an official gag order until this week.

Britton allegedly operated two Telegram channels under pseudonyms, creating more than 100 threads detailing his “kill count” and his methods of obtaining animals, according to court filings.

Born and raised in the UK, the crocodile expert moved to Australia in the early 2000s and built a successful mainstream career, even co-producing a BBC series with famed nature broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. His next hearing is set for mid-December, when he is expected to be sentenced.