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Police caught a man who had been sneaking into stables in Devon and molesting horses for 10 months after setting up CCTV cameras in a stable.

Derek Woods, aged 26, of Alphington, pleaded guilty to bestiality and two counts of animal cruelty, after DNA showed he had been abusing horses between December 2009 and August last year.

Woods appeared at Central Devon Magistrates Court on 30 December.

The court heard how police set up surveillance equipment after the owner of a yard in Clyst St George complained about repeated attacks on horses.

Wood was caught at the stables on 9 August.

The magistrates said their maximum sentencing powers, of six months’ imprisonment, were not sufficient to deal with the seriousness of the case.

Woods will be sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on 28 January.