Court

'Drugs made me do it': Ravenswood man convicted over bestiality material

Stephanie Dalton
Updated December 9 2023 - 8:01am, first published 5:00am
Zachary Glenn Hancox-Ebert pleaded guilty to possessing bestiality product and appeared at the Launceston Magistrates Court on December 8. Picture by Craig George
Zachary Glenn Hancox-Ebert pleaded guilty to possessing bestiality product and appeared at the Launceston Magistrates Court on December 8. Picture by Craig George

A Ravenswood man who had dozens of horrific images and videos of bestiality on multiple devices says he only "viewed" them when under the influence of methamphetamine.

Zachary Glenn Hancox-Ebert, 30, pleaded guilty to possessing bestiality product contrary to section 74 of the Classification (Publications, Films, and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1995.

Hancox-Ebert fronted the Launceston Magistrates Court on December 8 to learn his fate.

If you commit a crime, you might be arrested, or receive a court summons. Here’s what happens next.

Police prosecutor Kelly Brown said on September 1, 2020, police searched Hancox-Ebert's Ravenswood home with a warrant.

Hancox-Ebert, who was home at the time, gave police his electronic devices, including a Samsung Galaxy phone and an Apple iPhone.

Ms Brown said Hancox-Ebert also provided police with the passcodes to the devices.

On September 16, 2020, police analysed the seized devices and the accounts linked to the devices and discovered "several images and videos" of bestiality material.

Ms Brown said more than 18 videos involving "varying females and animals" were found on the iPhone.

During a police interview, Hancox-Ebert said the iPhone belonged to a friend, but he had been in possession of it for years and said the Samsung phone was his.

Hancox-Ebert said no one else used the phones.

Hancox-Ebert told police girls sent him some of the beastiality material and other images/videos had come from Google and various websites.

Hancox-Ebert said "he had looked at it" and "had a habit of looking at it when on ice".

He admitted to police he would "do things way out of character when using methamphetamine".

Defence lawyer Fran McCracken said the beastiality product was "a relatively small amount of images and videos" and merely "warranted a fine" as punishment.

Ms McCracken said Hancox-Ebert's criminal behaviour was fuelled by his addiction to methamphetamine.

"He would look up all sorts of things which he wouldn't have done so without drugs," she said.

Ms McCracken said he used drugs to "try and forget issues from his childhood".

Ms McCracken said since the offending took place, Hancox-Ebert was now clean from drugs.

"He has worked very hard to rid himself of drug use," she said.

Magistrate Simon Brown said he understood he viewed the material when drug affected.

"Material like this is dreadful," Mr Brown said.

"Keeping material like this feeds the market for how these images or videos come into existence, which is abusive to the animals and the humans in them.

"They are depicted in a vile way, and this behaviour is appalling."

However, Mr Brown said he was pleased Hancox-Ebert had since dealt with his drug problem.

"You seem to be on a better track now," he said.

Mr Brown convicted Hancox-Ebert and fined him $2000.

Stephanie Dalton

The Examiner journalist and Launceston local covering health and court reporting in Northern Tasmania. Do you have a story? Contact me at Stephanie.Dalton@austcommunitymedia.com.au

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