Sexual Offences against an animal or a corpse

Paragraphs 69 and 70 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 deal with sexual offences against an animal or a corpse.

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What are the offences?

Section 69 details the offence of intercourse with an animal:

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally performs an act of penetration with his penis,

(b) what is penetrated is the vagina or anus of a living animal, and

(c) he knows that, or is reckless as to whether, that is what is penetrated.

(2) A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a) A intentionally causes, or allows, A’s vagina or anus to be penetrated,

(b) the penetration is by the penis of a living animal, and

(c) A knows that, or is reckless as to whether, that is what A is being penetrated by.

Section 70 details the offence of sexual penetration of a corpse:

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally performs an act of penetration with a part of his body or anything else,

(b) what is penetrated is a part of the body of a dead person,

(c) he knows that, or is reckless as to whether, that is what is penetrated, and

(d) the penetration is sexual.

The Court Procedure

Both section 69 and 70 offences are ‘either way’ offences meaning that they can be dealt with in either the Magistrates or the Crown Court. The maximum sentence available is that given in the Crown Court, being a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

Who Can I Contact For Advice & Help?

It is imperative that you instruct an experienced solicitor as soon as you become aware of an allegation being made. Crucially it is always important to have a solicitor present in interview at the police station whether it is an interview by appointment or under arrest.


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