The following story has been circulating around
, even getting posted in the hoax forum
(warning: don't read it if you're easily offended):
Extract from the Yorkshire Evening Post:
A drunk who claimed he had been raped by a dog was yesterday jailed for 12 months by a judge. Martin Hoyle, 45, was arrested by police after a passing motorist and his girlfriend found a Staffordshire bull terrier, called Badger, having sex with him at the side of a road in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Prosecutor Ben Crosland said the couple had stopped to help because they thought Hoyle was being attacked by the animal. But when they got closer they saw that he had his trousers round his ankles, was down on all fours and the dog was straddling him from behind.
"The defendant mumbled something about the dog having taken a liking to him," said Mr Crosland. "The couple were extremely offended and sickened by what they saw." Another passing motorist contacted the police and Hoyle was arrested as he walked with the dog down the road.
Hoyle, of East view, Marsh, Huddersfield, told police "I can't help it if the dog took a liking to me. He tried to rape me."
He repeated the rape allegation at the police station and added "The dog pulled my trousers down." Hoyle, who has had a long-standing alcohol problem, was jailed for 12 months after he admitted committing an act which outraged public decency.
His barrister said Hoyle had no memory of the incident because of his drunken state, but was now very remorseful and incredibly embarrassed.
Jailing him, Judge Alistair McCallum told Hoyle "Never before in my time at the bar or on the bench have I ever had to deal with somebody who voluntarily allowed himself to be buggered by a dog on the public highway. Frankly it is beyond most of our comprehension. It is an absolutely disgusting thing for members of the public to have to witness."
So is there any truth to this story, or is it just a joke? First, it should be noted that the story dates back to 1998 and has been attributed to various publications, including the Yorkshire Evening Post
, the London Evening Standard
, and The Sun
. A Dec. 19, 1998 posting
in the usenet group alt.tasteless claimed it was printed in The Sun
on Dec. 1, 1998. I don't know why the story has suddenly started to circulate around again now.
I can't find the story listed in any electronic news archives. However, the Lexis-Nexis archive for the Yorkshire Evening Post
only goes back to 2000, and The Sun's online archive
(which goes back to 1996) didn't want to work for me (probably because I'm not a subscriber). So I can't rule out that the story never appeared in a newspaper.
In the story's favor, there is a Yorkshire prosecutor named Ben Crosland, as well as a Judge named Alistair McCallum (who has a history of making memorable remarks about the cases he's judging. In 1996 he stirred up controversy by referring to a case of sexual harassment as mere "horseplay.") The main factor weighing against it being true is how ridiculous it is. It definitely has shades of being another Hippo Eats Dwarf
kind of story (right down to the detail of the bull terrier being named Badger), but until I can determine that it wasn't printed as news in 1998, I won't classify it as a hoax.
After subscribing to The Sun's archive (at their lowest rate), I discovered that this story was indeed reported there on Dec. 1, 1998, though in an abbreviated form. See the comments below where I've pasted exactly what ran in The Sun.