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DDA dog freed on appeal

A DOG of the pit bull ‘type’ that was sentenced to death under the Dangerous Dogs Act won his appeal at Liverpool Crown Court last week.

The case of ‘Zebo’ owned by James Riley was first heard at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in September by District Judge Clancey, who was seen to have a somewhat less lenient approach to such cases as some of his colleagues who had presided over previous hearings.

Zebo, aged 18 months and his mother Stella, aged 4 were seized by police in April as illegal pit bull ‘types’. Mr Riley was distraught and contacted the Fury Defence Fund who supported him and gave him advice. Stella was later released without charge – although she had lost a lot of weight in custody – but Zebo was held back and charges were proceeded with under Section 4b of the DDA.

The case was heard in September, but crucial evidence in Zebo’s defence was not put forward by Mr Riley’s solicitor, whilst a totally unrelated previous case involving Mr Riley was referred to by the Prosecution. Judge Clancey told Mr Riley: ‘People like you get these dogs. I know I have a right to release the dog, but I don’t have to.’

He duly ordered that Zebo be destroyed.
Mr Riley lodged an immediate appeal and placed the case in the hands of another solicitor, and was again assisted by the Fury Defence Fund.