A dog rapist who sexually abused and killed animals in his ‘torture room’ shipping container has had his sentencing delayed.
British-born crocodile expert Adam Britton, 52, pleaded guilty to 60 charges – including bestiality, animal cruelty and possession of child abuse material – last September.
Both his lawyer and the prosecution were set to make submissions on Britton’s sentencing last December but the matter was postponed to this Tuesday.
However, Britton’s team requested more time to examine a psychiatric report they received on Friday last week, which could be used to reduced the abuser’s sentence.
The prosecution also requested the sentence submission be delayed so it could prepare its own psychiatric report in response.
The ‘sadistic’ former zoologist, who previously worked with Sir David Attenborough, is now set to face court again in May.
While his sentencing was delayed for another three months, Chief Justice Grant said it was unlikely the expert psychological report would ‘reduce culpability’ of Britton’s actions.
‘I’ll hold fire on it, obviously, but I just can’t see how evidence as to a psychological condition, whether you describe it as paraphilia or zoo-sadism, operates to reduce moral culpability for the product of that condition,’ he said.
Britton’s lawyer claimed the report focused on the prospects of Britton’s rehabilitation over reducing his responsibility for the crimes.
Demonstrators appeared outside Darwin’s Supreme Court on Tuesday where they told reporters they hoped Britton would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
One local woman, who asked not be named, proudly held a sign reading: ‘Death penalty for Adam Britton.’
She told Daily Mail Australia: ‘He can’t get away with these heinous crimes. Now his brief is asking for psychological tests to check his suitability for rehabilitation – how can that work?
‘How can we let this monster back into a community with defenceless, voiceless, innocent animals?
‘Really, the death penalty is the only way.’
Britton has pleaded guilty to eight counts of bestiality – each carrying a maximum of three years behind bars, four counts of possessing and transmitting child abuse material – each with a maximum of 10 years, and 37 counts of aggravated animal cruelty – each with a maximum of five years.
Chief Justice Grant previously described Britton’s crimes as ‘acts that could only be described as grotesque cruelty which are both confronting and distressing’.
In a very rare case, he excused even security officers and sheriffs from the courtroom while the facts of Britton’s disturbing case were read out to avoid unnecessary ‘adverse psychological’ effects.
Between 2020 and 2022, Britton tortured, raped and murdered more than 40 animals from his remote home in McMinns Lagoon and a neighbouring property in Darwin’s south.
He would film the horrific abuse and share the footage and photos online where he reportedly hoped to gain fame for creating ‘the most-known shock video ever’.
Britton often procured dogs to live out his twisted fantasies from unassuming locals on Gumtree Australia.
In secret, encrypted online chats, the 52-year-old shared his torture expertise with other ‘zoo-sadists’.
In one conversation he advised someone to play on current owners’ sympathy to help secure dogs to abuse.
‘Most people want to know you’re a good person and the dog is going to a good home – it’ll have space to play, you’ll take it for walks, it might live in the house etc,’ he wrote.
‘Telling them you want a new family member after your old dog died from cancer last year hardly ever fails.’
In another he wrote: ‘I was talking with someone else about why I love to hurt dogs … I wasn’t sure at first, but now I live for it. I can’t stop myself hurting dogs.
‘I was sadistic as a child to animals but I had repressed it. In the last few years I let it out again and now I can’t stop. I don’t want to. 🙂 .’
Britton’s reign of terror was brought to an abrupt end when he uploaded a video called ‘1B***h9Pups’, to an abuse website on March 22, 2022.
The clip was so violent and disturbing, internet sleuths were outraged and scoured through frames of the twisted film to identify its sick creator.
One eagle-eyed viewer managed to spot an orange City of Darwin dog leash in the background of the video and reported the information to authorities.
Northern Territory Police established Operation Haine – a joint investigation by the NT Police and Australian Federal Police’s Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team – in response to the report and raided Britton’s home on April 22, 2022.
He has remained in custody on remand since.
The crocodile pen where the couple kept their exotic pets – including Smaug, the movie star crocodile – was empty, and their two Swiss Shepherds – which Britton also abused – Ursa and Bolt, were nowhere to be seen.
There were padlocks on the fence, along with an eerie sign from Darwin City Council that claimed ‘a dog on these premises has been declared a dangerous dog’.
Britton was a renown wildlife expert and frequently joined Erin on her months-long international zoology expeditions, including in Antarctica.
Court documents suggest he made his vile videos at home, before going on international trips and sending the videos to like-minded people using Telegram.
A number of the home videos were sent from Antarctica, most were sent from the NT, and a few were sent from Queensland and New South Wales.
There were a few instances where, according to court documents, Britton would send a video of himself inflicting torture on a dog one day and upload a photo of whales in the Antarctic to his Instagram the next.
The couple’s property, where Britton abused dogs in his ‘torture room’ shipping container, has since been abandoned and Erin, who did not know about Britton’s abuse, has cut all ties with her husband.
Animal activists who were once duped by Britton’s charming animal expertise, which earned him an appearance on a BBC documentary alongside David Attenborough, are calling for the 52-year-old to pay the ultimate price for his criminal double life.