A man has been jailed for the theft of a dog that sparked a mass Twitter appeal.

Allan Adrian Denny, of Station Road, New Barnet, pleaded guilty to taking the much-loved pet Ted from outside Tesco Express, in Friern Barnet Lane, on December 8.

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel had been tied outside the shop by his partially-sighted owner, 75-year-old Philomena Hynes, who was left devastated by the theft.

More than 52,000 people retweeted a picture of missing Ted before he was found tied to a gate at Friary Park a few days later.

Police said the pet was “too hot to hold” following the incredible online response and subsequently issued CCTV images of a man they suspected of taking the dog.

Investigating officers finally made a breakthrough last month when Denny was charged with the crime.

And on Friday, at Highbury Magistrates’ Court, the 23-year-old, who was on licence for another offence at the time of the snatching, pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to eight weeks in prison.

Investigating officer DC Kim Louey, of Barnet CID, said: "This case obviously touched many people, as it left an elderly women distressed at the loss of her dog. 

“The circulation of Ted's image put a huge amount of pressure on those who had Ted and resulted in his return and a happy story just before Christmas. It shows just what can be achieved when people pull together to confront crime."