A 72-YEAR-OLD man has pleaded guilty to behaviour of a lewd, obscene and disgusting nature likely to outrage public decency after being seen interfering with a foal.

Blackburn magistrates heard that Ernest Heywood was also seen on another occasion putting his arm into a horse’s backside.

He appeared in court two days after another man was sentenced for having sex with a horse.

The court was told Heywood’s first offence was committed in daylight just minutes after charity walkers had passed through the field.

And the witness to the second offence was watching through binoculars as he interfered with the animal.

The police officer who arrested Heywood said there was the smell of animal faeces coming from his direction.

Heywood, of Albion Street, Blackburn, was fined £200 and ordered to pay £15 costs.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said on July 7, Gill Cook was alerted by her partner who was suspicious of the behaviour of a man who had been in a field with horses in Clayton-le-Moors for three quarters of an hour. She saw him try and push a horse towards a tree before turning his attentions to a six months old foal.

“I was horrified to see what he was doing,’ Mrs Cook told police.

On May 27, John Barr was working in his garden which overlooked the same fields at the end of Rishton Road when he saw a grey haired male with the horses.

“He was playing around with them in an overly familiar manner,” said Mr Barr. “He kept looking round to see if anyone was there.”

Mr Barr alerted his partner who went to the bedroom and looked out through binoculars.

Miss Akhtar said: “She passed the binoculars to a neighbour who also witnessed the behaviour.”

Miss Akhtar said that when interviewed by police Heywood said he didn’t feel anything sexual towards horses but just liked their company.

Gareth Price, defending, said Heywood was effectively a man of previous good character who was adamant there was nothing sexual in his behaviour.

“While his behaviour was unusual it is debatable whether the probation service can do anything with him,” said Mr Price.