Prominent NT crocodile expert pleads guilty to animal sexual abuse, including torture of dogs

Adam Robert Corden Britton

27th September 2023 – (Darwin City) Adam Robert Corden Britton, a well-known crocodile expert in the Northern Territory (NT) and former researcher at Charles Darwin University, has admitted to committing a series of acts of animal cruelty against dogs. The 51-year-old Britton, who previously had the honour of hosting renowned broadcaster and biologist David Attenborough, engaged in these depraved acts between 2014 and his arrest in April 2022.

In the NT Supreme Court on Monday, Britton calmly entered guilty pleas to a total of 56 charges related to animal cruelty. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to four counts of accessing and transmitting child abuse material. Prior to the reading of the agreed facts by prosecutor Marty Aust, NT Chief Justice Michael Grant urged the public gallery, security personnel, and media to vacate the courtroom due to the disturbing nature of the evidence.

The details of Britton’s offenses are too gruesome to be disclosed publicly, but they resulted in the death of 39 dogs. Aust described Britton as having a sadistic sexual interest in animals, particularly dogs. Not only did Britton subject his own dogs to torture, but he also obtained other canines from unsuspecting owners in the Darwin region through Gumtree Australia, often feigning a genuine interest in caring for their pets due to the owners’ travel or work commitments.

Using various pseudonyms, Britton shared videos and images of his sexual exploitation of the dogs on online forums. Eventually, a video came to the attention of the NT Animal Welfare Branch, who promptly alerted the NT police. Britton was subsequently arrested in April 2022 and has remained in custody since then.

It is important to note that none of Britton’s offences involved reptiles, despite his expertise in crocodile studies. Throughout his career, Britton had established himself as a prominent figure in the field of crocodile research and held the position of senior research associate at CDU’s Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods.

Britton’s case is scheduled to return to court on December 13 for sentencing submissions. Chief Justice Grant emphasised the distressing nature of the crimes and the potential for them to cause nervous shock. The public eagerly awaits the court’s decision on the appropriate punishment for these heinous acts of animal cruelty and the transmission of child abuse material.