A classic crown court comment from a great barrister:
Anthony Jennings QC told the jury they should not apply human concepts of sexual behaviour to dolphins. Human beings - apart from at rugby club dinners, did not use their penises to greet each other. Also, humans, unlike dolphins, do not use their penises for domestic purposes, such as pushing the supermarket trolley!
Chapter 9: Penis Exposure by Dolphins
Bloom, a self-professed "expert", must surely have influenced others on the boat. The journalists probably wouldn't have needed much influencing for as Jennings put it, they had the scoop of the century, if it could be proven.
I believe Bloom had his own agenda, to prove that a dolphin displaying his penis when swimming with humans is sexually aroused and that should be discouraged. If he had succeeded in discrediting me, if I, someone fighting his slave-trade, had been found guilty, what could be better for him?
I considered the possibility of taking out a private civil court action against Bloom for malicious defamation, however legal aid to pursue the matter was only available if I could show that I had suffered economic business loss. Another consideration was that the burden of proof to win the case would be with me and to prove that Bloom had acted disingenuously would have been difficult in my opinion to do.
Why did the Crown Prosecution Service proceed with this case? They may say that they had, on the face of it, statements from several individuals to prove that a 'crime' had been committed. As Tony Jennings proved, it wasn't hard to break that veneer of the witnesses being independent. I had naively thought they wouldn't initiate an expensive court case, that my background as an animal rights activist would pre-empt that. I now believe that was precisely the reason that they did initiate the court case, hoping to get me found guilty and therefore discredit the movement I had been part of for ten years.
Following the verdict, there was some interest from the press on gaining an exclusive. My head was spinning, not only from the week in court, but the year leading up to it. The News of the World offered the most, £5000, which I intended to donate to the campaign, so a deal was done. If I or someone around me had given it clearer thought I wouldn't have made it, with such a disreputable 'newspaper'.
An agent for the News of the World met me on Saturday at Amble to photograph a celebratory swim with Freddy and the conduct the necessary interview for the story. He needn't have bothered, for when the article appeared the following day what appeared was a completely made-up story and a horrible photograph. In naivety, I had expected a story about wrongly accused man, his year of hell, and then his acquittal. Instead they fabricated a story of innuendo. They even tried to renege on the payment and it took a solicitor's letter and several weeks to get a cheque. I was really pleased that this trash paper was forced to close down in 2011 as a result of them illegally tapping people's phones. Contrast them to the Daily Star and the Manchester Evening News, which both remarked on what a complete farce it all had been.
A week or so after the case, I appeared on the Jonathan Ross show on ITV. I had reservations about the wisdom of doing so, but Doug Cartlidge told me Bloom would hate the opportunity I had to espouse about dolphins being free and not in captivity. Ross made an initial joke "nice to shake the hand that shook" but then seemed to listen to what I had to say. Backstage after my spot, the producer came over to me and said "well done", my 'minder' said in all the years in 'minding' guests, he had never seen that happen before, so I guess I did all right on what Andy Warhol called your 'fifteen minutes of fame'. Back home in Manchester, a young lad I didn't know, approached me with the same congratulation.
There are two trains of thought. One that it is of a sexual nature. I remember Hope saying to me that if a dog grabs your leg you should knock it off. Bloom's opinion was of this type, of course his opinion may have been influenced by the fact, that a dolphin exposing his penis in captivity, wouldn't be the entertainment an audience naturally expected to see. The other opinion is that dolphins are uninhibited by human codes of conduct. As Tony Jennings put it to the jury, humans don't usually push supermarket trolleys with their penises, except after rugby club dinners!
Freddy started his penis exposure a few months after my first swim with him. I was surprised but not unduly concerned. He either hooked you in the crook of the arm or more usually behind the leg. He would glide just underneath the surface and more often than not judge it perfectly, so you were pushed from an upright position to flat with your leg or arm across his body. In each individual swim which lasted several hours, the hooking would last for only a short part, around 15 or 20 minutes. If it had lasted a much longer, I too, may have started to consider it sexual.
A dolphin's penis is hidden in the body and it can be flicked out at will just like a flick knife. When Freddy hooked swimmers, there was never any thrusting of the penis which is associated with humans. I took the view that although we humans could touch Freddy with our hands, this was the only part of his anatomy that he could use to touch humans. I regarded it as something that happened when you had a swim with the dolphin, perhaps not entirely in keeping with what one expects, perhaps because of our limited knowledge of a wild dolphin, but not odd or indecent either. Freddy would switch from a period of hooking to all the other aspects of a swim with him. Of course humans are by nature usually a very sexual animal and there is always a 'nod and wink' at the very mention of a penis, whether a dolphin's or not. However I didn't consider it, not for one second, nor ever thought anyone could, or would, misconstrue Freddy's behaviour, mine or anybody else's behaviour as being indecent.