Man sentenced for possession of an illegal dog

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Thursday 3.45pm: A man from Huntingdon has been ordered to carry out community service after being found guilty of possessing an illegal Japanese Tosa dog.

Anthony Matacchieri, 39, from West Street, Huntingdon, appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday) after being found guilty of the offence at a hearing on November 19 last year.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 100 hours community service, to pay £4,795 to the police in compensation to cover the cost of storage of the dog.

A contingent destruction order was also placed on Matacchieri’s dog which sets out conditions under which it must be controlled when in public, someone over the age of 18 must be in charge of it and that it must be kept on a lead at all times when not in the home.

On April 23, 2014, police received a report from a member of the public stating that her neighbour’s dog, believed to be a banned breed, had jumped over a fence into her back garden and killed her Yorkshire Terrier.

The dog was seized by police and, following examination by a dangerous dogs expert, was believed to be a Japanese Tosa, a breed of dog which is illegal in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Evidence was put before a judge at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court, who confirmed the dog was a Japanese Tosa and found the owner guilty of being in possession of an illegal breed of dog.

Detective Sergeant Louisa Barry said: “This is the first successful prosecution under The Dangerous Dogs Act for this particular breed within the UK since the legislation came into force in 1991.

“This was a challenging case to bring to court but I am pleased we have been able to secure this sentence.”