For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Jail for Newcastle United fan who punched a horse after Sunderland defeat
5:06pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
A NEWCASTLE United fan who punched a police horse after his team lost to Sunderland has been jailed.
Barry Rogerson, 45, was charged after trouble flared when the Magpies lost 3-0 at home in April.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that during sustained disorder across the city, Rogerson had remained close to a mounted police line in the city.
He was drunk and began to clap in a horse's face, before squaring up to one of the animals and punching it in the head.
Sentencing Rogerson to 12 months in prison for violent disorder, Judge Paul Sloan QC said: "You attended the football match and by the time it ended you were much the worse for drink.
"You had taken it in conjunction with prescription medicine knowing you should not have done so.
"The crowd surged forward on two occasions and after the first surge you walked amongst the horses clapping your hands in excitement or pleasure at the events.
"Someone tried to pull you away but you pushed him away.
"A horse started to move towards you and you were told to move back, you had plenty of opportunities to move away.
"You stood your ground and attacked the horse by punching it in the head.
"There was a risk of serious injury, the officer could easily have been thrown from the horse and could have sustained serious injury."
Rogerson, of Hartlands, Bedlington, Northumberland, was also banned from attending any football matches in the UK for six years.
He was photographed with a scarf over his face punching Bud, a horse working for West Yorkshire Police.
Sentencing a number of other offenders too, Judge Sloan said: "When offences of this kind are committed by large groups, sentence should include an element of deterrent so those who may be tempted to take part in sustained public disorder know that a significant sentence will be imposed.
Jim Hope, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North East, said: "While we are satisfied with the sentence passed on Barry Rogerson today, it is important to remember that he is only one individual in a much larger group responsible for the derby day disorder.
"A significant number of those involved have also been made subject to football banning orders and, in many cases, custodial sentences.
"This type of behaviour brings into disrepute the good conduct displayed by the overwhelming majority of football supporters.
"Football related disorder is simply unacceptable and we will continue working closely with police to ensure a robust response for anyone found to be involved in it."
Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert, Newcastle Area Commander, said: "The images of Rogerson's behaviour were seen right across the country and further afield through the media and internet coverage of the disorder.
"His behaviour is clearly unacceptable and he was widely condemned by law abiding and right thinking members of the public for his actions.
"I'm keen to stress that this shouldn't be the lasting impression people have of the city of Newcastle and its football supporters."