New Zealand: Serial sheep rapist sentenced to life in prison

A New Zealand man convicted of bestiality 37 times in the past 26 years was given the most severe criminal sentence in New Zealand since the death penalty was abolished in 1989.

William Furphy, 63, a retired New Zealand farm worker has been arrested over 117 times for having sex in public with farm animals since 1993 but only convicted 37 times with no jail time.

Judge Jane Seymour described Furphy as a repeat sexual offender who had no compassion for the harm he had inflicted upon his victims as well as no respect for New Zealand laws that sanction bestiality.

William Furphy admitted himself in court that he never intended to stop and that all his sexual relations with the animals were consensual.

“Saying that having sex with a sheep is a crime in New Zealand is such hypocrisy, everybody does it. All New Zealanders have done it at least once. Everybody I know does it. As New Zealanders, it is our god-given right,” Furphy said in court.

William Furphy’s lawyer, Kevin Woo, also argued that his client’s practice was a productive one that enabled his client to generate more revenue as it made the animals’ meat more tender and their wool thicker, an argument that was dismissed by the judge as “utter and complete nonsense.”

“My first sexual relationship was with a sheep and it was so for my brothers as well as my father, his brothers and his father also. It’s in our genes as New Zealanders,” Furphy reiterated in court.

Furphy also pleaded that the animals enjoyed it and that he had sexual relationships with them because the animals “practically begged for it.”

“My family has been herding sheep for generations. I understand their needs and so I give them what they want” he added, to a visibly annoyed judge.

Judge Jane Seymour sentenced William Furphy to life with no parole and a minimum one-year sentence for every conviction he had been prosecuted for since 1993 for a grand total of 37 years, the most severe criminal sentence in New Zealand since the death penalty was abolished in 1989.

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