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The Nifty 250: news of the day in so many words

<b>Friday March 5:</b> Dog doused in petrol and set alight; Venables “frequented city bars” and council tax hike in Sefton

Published on March 5th 2010.

The Nifty 250: news of the day in so many words

THE RSPCA has said the case of a dog tied to railings, then set alight before being left to die is "as bad as it gets".

The one-year-old bull terrier was tethered to a railing on a sport pitch in Kirkdale, Liverpool, before being doused in petrol.

People nearby heard the animal's howling and ran to help, but she could not be saved.

The dog was microchipped, which allowed the RSPCA to track down the owners who told them the dog had been missing for several days.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Simon Small said: "It doesn't get worse than what happened here. This dog suffered tremendously before she died. This was a deliberate act of extreme cruelty of the type I hope I never see again."

Officers have now released an image of the dog after the attack in the hope of encouraging people to come forward with information. Anyone who can help is urged to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

SEFTON residents face an average hike of £40 a year in their tax bills after councillors approved their budget last night.

A 2.8% rise, including demands from the police, fire and waste services, means taxpayers in a Band D property will pay 77p extra a week.

JON Venables returned to the city where he murdered the toddler James Bulger for drug-fuelled nights out, according to reports.

The 27-year-old allegedly drank cider and snorted cocaine in several of Liverpool’s popular nightclubs, including Krazy House, The Funky Box, Barfly and Walkabout, sources have told The Daily Mirror, despite licence conditions banning him from returning to the city without permission from his parole officer.

He is also said to have slipped into Goodison Park stadium to watch Everton matches wearing a team shirt.

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