Farmers caught man sexually abusing their calf

EXCLUSIVE We caught pervert in the act as he was having sex with a CALF: Inside story of how farmers launched military-style operation to snare man who had been creeping into their barn to abuse cows

  • Ian and Tracey Farwell were convinced someone was interfering with their cows
  • They installed several CCTV cameras in their barn which captured the pervert 

A family of farmers have described the military-style operation they had to launch to snare a depraved man who was having sex with their cows.

Ian and Tracey Farwell suspected something underhand was going on in their cowshed late at night as the calves were regularly in a state of distress at morning feeding time.

Over a six month period the couple found surgical gloves, a discarded cow rope and a pair of trousers scattered around their fourth generation farm in Burton, near Christchurch, Dorset.

Determined to get to the bottom of the matter, they installed several CCTV cameras in the cowshed and devised a plan to catch the culprit.

Liam Brown, pictured outside Poole Magistrate’s Court, was caught on CCTV sexually molesting calves on Ian and Tracey Farwell’s farm in Dorset 

Ian and Tracey Farwell, pictured, set up CCTV cameras to monitor their herd after the death rate among young calves had dramatically shot up

On one evening, the family spotted an intruder having sex with one of their calves. When they switched on the barn lights, they saw Liam Brown, 25, with his trousers around his ankles. He said he had ‘f***** up’, when discovered. 

At just before midnight one summer evening last year, their son Ralph heard the sound of a calf in distress.

He checked the CCTV on his mobile phone and saw a mysterious figure in the pen with the calves.

This prompted four family members to quietly rush outside and surround the cowshed, blocking off every exit.

They waited five minutes to give everyone time to find their spot, then one of them turned the lights on.

To their horror they were greeted by the sight of a young man with his trousers down wiggling behind one of the calves.

He immediately pulled his trousers up and tried to escape.

He hurdled a fence but startled cows in the next door pen and was trampled by them.

Brown, pictured outside Bournemouth Crown Court this week. He escaped a prison term after he was convicted of one count of sexual penetration with a living animal and a further charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal

The Farwell family surrounded the warped intruder and they quickly realised it was Liam Brown, the son of their former farmhand, who they had known since he was five-years-old.

The 25-year-old was sobbing on the floor and telling them ‘sorry, I’ve f****d up’.

This week Brown came face to face with Mr and Mrs Farwell again as he was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court for one charge of sexual penetration with a living animal and one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

He avoided jail and was given a community order, banned from keeping livestock for 10 years and told to pay the farmers £600 compensation.

The Farwells say his ‘depravity’ had put a huge emotional toll on them.

Ian Farwell, 59, said: ‘We started finding surgical gloves and clothing on the farm in January 2022 which wasn’t ours.

‘We contacted the police, but there was nothing they could do.

‘As time went on we noticed more and more of our calves getting ill and we were trying to figure out why.

Mr and Mrs Farwell, pictured outside Bournemouth Crown Court said they initially thought they had been doing something wrong because of the death rate among cows on their farm

The family recovered discarded rubber gloves which had not been used on the farm

‘We took them to the vets to see if they had germs and wondered if we were doing something wrong with them.

‘Looking back, I think someone was going into the pens three or four times a week but did not know what they were doing.

‘We came up with a plan where we would catch them in the act, it was the only way to stop it.

READ MORE: Man, 25, found guilty of having sex with a calf 

‘That night, Ralph was outside and heard a distressed sound from a calf, so he checked the CCTV on his phone.

‘He could see someone was in the cowshed so we gave each other five minutes to get into position and turned the lights on.

‘When the lights went on, we saw this man behind a calf with his trousers down. It was obvious what he was doing.

‘He jumped a fence and tried to leg it but some cows trampled him and we surrounded him.

‘When we got closer we recognised it was Liam and he was crying and saying he’d f***d up.

‘We called the police and waited with him. They did DNA samples and proved what he had done.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard Brown’s father had worked at the farm as a farmhand, and had been a regular visitor when he was younger

The CCTV monitors were able to alert the family that there was an intruder on the premises 

‘I was told that when police reviewed the CCTV it was so shocking that some of the female officers cried.

‘We knew Ian when he was five-years-old and he had been in our house, his dad worked for us.

‘Because he knew the farm so well he knew the exits and could avoid getting caught.

‘My wife and I have been farmers all our adult lives and throughout childhood.

‘Our work is hard and the rewards are few, but the one thing that keeps us going is the privilege of working with and caring for our animals.

‘The effect upon us, but particularly my wife Tracey, is catastrophic.

‘We almost feel responsible for this outrage and it has had a severe effect on our health.

Mr Farwell said 20 calves had died prematurely before Brown’s arrest in June 2022 – compared to three in the 18 months since

‘Tracey can barely enter the cowsheds without huge emotional strain.’

Mr Farwell said 20 calves had died prematurely before Brown’s arrest in June 2022 – compared to three in the 18 months since.

But he said: ‘We can’t prove it 100 per cent it was because of him, they could have been ill. But since it stopped last year we have only had two or three die. It has cost us tens of thousands.’

The court heard that Brown had no qualifications but was working with an agency and had been doing night shifts stacking shelves.

Judge Keith Cutler sentenced him to a three-year community order with rehabilitation requirements and 150 hours of unpaid work.

The Farwell family have run their cattle farm for 144 years and have about 400 cows.

Tracey Farwell, 60, still checks the cattle pen every morning as, since Brown is not behind bars, she fears he might strike again.

She said: ‘You never think that somebody could be so depraved.

‘It was my job to feed the calves. They would be fine when I left them at night and then I would find them ill in the morning and struggling to breathe.

‘I thought they had pneumonia so I was trying to treat them for that but it was actually because he was strangling them with his belt.

‘He took his belt off to tie the calf to the gate.

‘He should have gone to prison.’

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