A pensioner who bullied his former son-in-law and tried to shame him for his ‘sexual preferences’ was later caught with hundreds of photos of beastiality.
Paul Manifold, 72, tried to sabotage his victim’s chances of being taken on as a coach at a sports’ club and bombarded him with texts and Facebook messages, including one that read ‘I will inform your friends about your dirty little secret’ claiming he had been cross-dressing.
Police searched Manifold’s home in Coventry, West Midlands, in March and discovered 117 pictures showing women having sex with animals on his computer.
The dad was arrested and, on Monday, admitted sending malicious communication and possessing extreme pornography.
He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and made the subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim.
Warwick Crown Court heard the pensioner’s hate campaign had lasted two years, from the point his daughter’s marriage had ended.
Graeme Simpson, prosecuting, said Manifold wrote on Facebook the victim ‘dresses in women’s clothes and takes selfies to post online’.
Manifold also accused him of sending ‘photos of himself pleasuring himself in a field’.
Manifold claimed he sent the messages because was concerned about his former son-in-law coaching young boys at local cricket and rugby clubs.
But during sentencing, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano, said: ‘Mr Manifold never suggested [his victim] was doing anything illegal.
‘It was just things he didn’t like, because he doesn’t like the idea of people having different sexual preferences.’
The judge added: ‘We protect people in this country for their sexual preferences unless they are illegal, which in his case they certainly were not.
‘There is no question of this man being a danger to children.
‘Your daughter’s marriage ended, and that is always very distressing for a parent.
‘However, you know that what you should not have done is what you did, which was to make these communications about your son-in-law.
‘You say your purpose was to warn the clubs where he coached children what he was like, and you were successful, in that he is now unable to coach children because of the allegations you made.’
The judge described it as ‘somewhat ironic’ that when Manifold’s computer was examined, it showed hundreds of examples of ‘criminal sexual behaviour’.
‘You really were not in any position to victimise anyone else’s sexual interests,’ the judge said.
‘After his arrest his computer was examined, and there is something of an irony here.’
Daniel White, defending, said Manifold ‘expressed remorse’ about his behaviour.