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A man has been found guilty of possessing extreme pornographic images, after he was found with a video of a man sexually assaulting a chicken.
However, Mark Powell has claimed that he never watched the video, but often receives “edgy” videos from his friends.
During his trial this week at Teesside Magistrates' Court, he said the footage was sent to him while he was “too busy” at work to look at his messages.
He said: “I used to get quite a lot of joke videos from various people on WhatsApp.
“I wouldn't look at them all but I'd get sent them from friends and just forward them on. I didn't see the video and if I had done I'd of been disgusted.
"I'd of deleted it and asked the person to not send me anything like that again. I'm an animal lover.”
Anne Mitchell, prosecuting, argued that the 43-year-old would have had time to read the message and view the video during his shift working in West Bromwich as a construction assessor.
The video was sent to him on September 2017. He sent the video on twice – firstly on June 12, 2019, and again on November 2, 2020.
The second time is when the police were alerted.
One of the times it was sent, it was part of a bundle of more than 100 other videos, none of which were illegal.
During his police interview, he said that he had friends with an “unusual” sense of humour.
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Mitigating, Neil Douglas said that Mr Powell had a “good character” with no prior convictions.
He added: “These were men acting as school boys sharing what some see as funny videos
“Mr Powell seems to have been somewhat a detached observer of it sometimes looking and sometimes not and just forwarding them on to other like minded people.
“It's apparent from statements, software was used to filter his phone and this was the only video highlighted from the specialist filter.”
He was still found guilty, and the case has been adjournedfor a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
Powell, of Groom Terrace, Hartlepool, has been released on bail and will next appear at court on March 1.
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