CAMPAIGNERS are raising money to pay for a private prosecution against a man accused of killing a pet dog.
Barry Peach strenuously denies having anything to do with the death of Misty the Staffordshire bull terrier – and police have released him without charge.
But Misty’s owner Sherrie Murray, who has received world-wide support from animal lovers following the theft and brutal killing of the 12-year-old family pet, is hoping to raise £2,500 to start litigation against Mr Peach, from Hambledon.
Misty was stolen close to Miss Murray’s home, in Blossom Drive, Waterlooville, in July. Following a huge poster and social network campaign to find the dog, Miss Murray, a mum of five, was sent a photo of the pet tied up in a barn with a request to go and collect her.
She and her partner immediately set off to pick her up but received another devastating message to say Misty had been killed and dumped in a bin in Waterlooville. She was found dead wrapped in a blanket.
Despite police efforts to solve the sick crime they say they do not have enough evidence, or statements from key witnesses, to make a charge.
Miss Murray, 27, said: ‘I’m completely devastated that no-one has been brought to justice over this. I have given police all the information I have. We have fought hard for justice and we’re not going to give up now.
‘We have been told we should take out a private prosecution and people have already said they will donate to make it happen.
‘The blanket Misty was wrapped in has been tested for DNA and we know there are three people’s DNA on there – mainly a woman’s.
‘We have asked the police for it back so we have the evidence for our own case.’
Speaking last month to The News Mr Peach, 34, said he had been wrongly fingered as the culprit and was himself the target of an internet hate campaign because of the allegations.
In a statement, Hampshire Constabulary said Miss Murray did not give enough information to help a prosecution – which she strongly denies.
They said: ‘A 34-year-old man arrested in connection with the theft of a dog from an address in Blossom Drive, Waterlooville, and subsequent criminal damage has been released with no further action. Key witnesses in the case, including the owner of the dog, refused to provide police with a formal statement. Without this evidence it is not possible to pursue the case.’