The Express wrote "social commentators warned that such behaviour was only symptomatic of the wider problem of Britain’s hooligan culture" and quoted Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling saying: “Many communities and many people’s lives are being wrecked by anti-social behaviour, but when things turn to mindless brutality it’s time we dealt with the offenders with the full force of the law otherwise people will not have faith in our justice system.”
The only trouble is, as Private Eye points out this week, that it never happened.
As the Cambridge News website reported on November 3 : "An investigation into the death of a puppy in St Neots has been closed after it was found the animal died of a viral infection. Reports that a 10-week-old puppy had been stamped on and killed in the Priory Park area of the town on October 26, resulted in many members of the public coming forward to offer cash rewards to catch the offenders. One Cambridgeshire lawyer offered a £5,000 reward in a bid to see justice done. However, police found no evidence of injuries.
"A statement was released by Cambridgeshire police today, marking the end of its investigation into the puppy’s death. It said: "Cambridgeshire police have ended their investigation into the death of a puppy at St Neots on October 26 after a detailed veterinary medical examination revealed that it was most likely to have died suddenly from a virus and showed no sign of injury. Despite an intensive and thorough investigation, police have been unable to locate any other witnesses to an alleged incident in which the puppy was reportedly injured."
It is not the newspapers' fault the story turned out to be a dud. But, according to the Eye, only the local press have carried the end to "the story" and not the nationals, who were sold a pup.