A British crocodile expert who admitted to torturing dozens of dogs, including his own, lured pet owners to give him custody of their beloved pups on online marketplace platform Gumtree Australia before carrying out sick abuse on them.
Adam Britton, a renowned zoologist who has worked with David Attenborough in the past, has admitted to torturing and sexually abusing his two Swiss Shepherd pets, Ursa and Bolt, before he started to seek out more victims, Supreme Court of the Northern Territory heard on Monday. Britton will be sentenced at a later date.
After the married expert abused his own two pets for more than a decade, he started to source more dogs on Gumtree Australia as he would hunt for pet owners who were reluctantly parting with their pups due to travel or work obligations.
He established a connection with them, aiming to secure custody of the animals, prosecutor Marty Aust said.
If these individuals would reach out to Britton to ask about their former pets, the zoologist would tell them “false narratives” and send them old photos.
READ MORE Sick BBC croc expert ‘tortured 39 dogs to death’ before posting videos online
In one case, Britton reassured the former owners that their large brown dog was “settling in well”.
The message read: “Wolfe was relaxed and eating well and enjoying her new home.”
However, this poor pup had already been “sexually exploited, tortured and killed”, Mr Aust said.
Britton subjected the animals to vile acts within a modified shipping container on his property, which he referred to as a “torture room,” the court heard.
He equipped this space with recording equipment and proceeded to share footage of his heinous actions online under various pseudonyms.
Eventually, one of his videos found its way to the Northern Territory (NT) police, leading to Britton’s arrest in April 2022.
In the 18 months leading up to his arrest Britton tortured 42 dogs, with 39 of them dying as a result.
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As prosecutors laid out the case against Britton, the judge warned people to leave the courtroom as much of the details of his crimes were too graphic and “grotesque” to publish.
Chief Justice Michael Grant expressed his deep concern upon learning about the details of the case, fearing that the information presented could potentially inflict “emotional distress.”
In an unusual move, he decided to excuse security officers and junior court officials from the proceedings, as reported by local media.
According to prosecutors, Britton had exhibited a “sadistic sexual interest” with animals dating back to at least 2014.
Britton has remained in custody since his arrest and is scheduled to appear in court for a sentencing hearing in December.
Originally from West Yorkshire, Britton grew up in the UK before moving to Australia more than two decades ago to pursue a career working with crocodiles.
He held an academic position at Charles Darwin University and even had the honour of hosting David Attenborough while filming a segment for the “Life in Cold Blood” docuseries on his property.
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