A "DEPRAVED" man who had intercourse with a dog, distributed an indecent image of a 15-year-old girl and filmed himself performing sex acts at his place of work has been spared immediate custody.

Steven Smith, 40, had previously admitted a total of 18 sex offences, prior to his sentencing at Chester Crown Court, sitting at Chester Magistrates Court on Monday, April 24.

He also admitted breaching his notification requirements while on bail last month, giving his former Frodsham address as his place of residence, when he had since moved out of the area and was of no fixed abode.

Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett said Smith's behaviour was "truly disgusting and truly depraved", but was "just" minded to suspend a 22-month prison sentence.

Prosecuting, Peter Hussey said police, acting on intelligence, visited Smith's Frodsham home in May 25, 2021 and seized a number of devices. Of those, a number of indecent photos and videos were recovered from Smith's iPhone.

They included a 10-second video of him having sexual intercourse with his pet dog, plus 55 images and videos of Smith performing sex acts with the same dog, which were categorised as extreme pornographic material.

Also found was one indecent video of a 15-year-old girl and two photos of naked 15-year-old girls. Smith was found to have shared a four-second indecent video of a 15-year-old girl via Whatsapp.

Also on the phone were a total of 29 videos of Smith filming himself performing solo sex acts. The videos ranged in length from about eight seconds to two minutes.

These included videos of himself performing sex acts while parked at a busy lay-by, with cars passing by; at a Tesco car park with his car door open; standing naked in his living room window, in view of other properties; and while naked and driving.

Several videos were also at his place of work, the Suzuki car dealership in Crewe, one of which showed in the background had two members of the public and a member of staff present while Smith performed a solo sex act.

Other videos at his workplace included a sex act involving a high-heel shoe and one with a chair.

Police went to Smith's workplace, where he had still been an employee, and two members of management staff confirmed the relevant locations from the videos where the workplace footage was filmed.

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An internal investigation was carried out and Smith was asked to resign, which he did so.

In his first police interview, Smith denied redistributing the indecent video of the girl and alleged part of the indecent material had been put on there by someone else, but in a subsequent interview retracted that allegation.

He had one previous conviction in 2013 for outraging public decency.

'Utterly ashamed'

Defending, Mark Connor said there was "nothing sinister" about Smith breaching his notification requirements, as Smith did not fully fully understand the responsibilities of them.

He had kept out of trouble since May 2021 and was willing to work with probation on a rehabilitation programme to address his behaviour.

"He is trying to understand why he behaved in this risky, thrill-seeking way," Mr Connor told the court.

Smith had expressed remorse and was "utterly ashamed" of what he had done, and had lost two jobs and many of his friends since the offences came to light.

'Very troubling'

Judge Everett said it was "astonishing" no-one saw Smith in the act, for behaviour which was "truly disgusting, truly depraved and very determined as well.

"It's just awful; recording yourself doing it as well. It's difficult to understand why you did it...it's a very troubling case in that regard."

He added the public would be "horrified" that Smith carried out sex acts with his own pet dog, as well as sex acts in public.

The judge sentenced Smith to 12 months for the exposure and outraging public decency offences, eight months for distributing the indecent video and other indecent image offences, plus two months for intercourse with the dog.

The total 22-month sentence was to be suspended for two years.

Smith must carry out up to 20 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and the Horizon sex offenders programme.

He was also placed on a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order restricting his internet usage, and must register as a sex offender for that time.

The iPhone was to be deprived.

Judge Everett warned Smith of the orders: "If you breach it, back to me, and I will send you down."