Huntingdon man sentenced for possession of illegal breed of dog

Matacchieri appeared in court today.

Matacchieri appeared in court today. - Credit: Archant

A Huntingdon man has been sentenced to a 12-month community order after being found guilty of being in possession of an illegal breed of dog.

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

On April 23 last year, police received a report from a member of the public stating that her neighbour’s dog, which was 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 identified by a dangerous dogs expert as a Japanese Tosa, a breed which is illegal in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This is the first successful prosecution for this breed in the country under the legislation.

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

In addition to the community order, he was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and 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 it must be kept on a lead at all times when not in the home. This means that the dog will not be put down if these conditions are adhered to.

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Detective Sergeant Louisa Barry said: “This was a challenging case to bring to court but I am pleased we have been able to secure this sentence.”