A court in Zimbabwe had a true Mr. Bumble moment when a man accused of sex with a donkey mounted a unique defense: Sunday Moyo insisted that he had hired a prostitute and she transformed into a donkey during the sexual encounter.
Sunday Moyo, 28, said he paid the prostitute $20, but that the woman had turned into a donkey halfway through intercourse. He was spotted having sex with the animal in his backyard by a passing police unit.
In court, Moyo insisted “Your worship, I only came to know that I was being intimate with a donkey when I got arrested. I had hired a prostitute and paid US$20 for the service at Down Town nightclub, and I don’t know how she then became a donkey.” The court, which broke into laughter, appears to take a “never on Sunday” view of the matter.
It was a perfect modern use of the Bumble defense. If you recall in Oliver Twist (Chapter 51), Mr. Bumble tried to blame his wife but was told that he could not shift responsibility:
“It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it,” urged Mr. Bumble, first looking round to ascertain that his partner had left the room.
“That is no excuse,” replied Mr. Brownlow. “You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and indeed are the more guilty of the two; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction.”
“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.”
In this case, the defense was that not just the law but the victim is an ass.