NEWCASTLE United football thugs threw bottles, bricks and smoke bombs at police in a bid to attack rival Sunderland supporters who were being escorted away.
Police officers, dogs and horses came under attack by the furious mob after NUFC were thrashed 3-0 during a derby day clash in April.
Large-scale violence flared as police escorted Sunderland supporters away from St James’s Park after their team’s victory.
Police who came under attack said the trouble was the worst derby day violence they had seen in years and the mob was described as acting like “lunatics”.
Footage from CCTV cameras, police spotters, mobile phones and media outlets, which was played to a judge at Newcastle Crown Court, showed terrifying scenes of the city coming under attack.
Judge James Goss QC yesterday jailed seven men who were involved in the violence and said deterrent sentences must be passed in such cases.
The judge said: “Apart from the obvious fear created and the risk of injury, this was a major disturbance in the centre of the city on a Sunday afternoon.
“Those who joined in chose to become part of it.
“None of those being sentenced today actually attended the match but each came to the area knowing the match was being played.
“Missiles were repeatedly thrown at police and Sunderland fans, however, fortunately, only minor injures were sustained by a small number of people.
“A limited amount of damage was caused.
“It was, nevertheless, a serious and now notorious incident causing considerable fear.”
The court heard there had been a small amount of trouble before the match started, but the real violence flared afterwards.
Prosecutor Emma Dowling told Newcastle Crown Court: “The fixture is always heavily policed. On this occasion there was around 1,000 officers from Northumbria Police deployed in the city and a further 53 at the central station part of the city.
“The match on April 14 will be remembered for the violent scenes that erupted around the city centre.
“The catalyst appears to be Sunderland won the football match 3-0.”
The court heard Newcastle fans, many who had not actually been to the match, tried to attack Sunderland supporters’ coaches and the trouble spread down the entire route from St James’ Park to Central Station.
Miss Dowling said: “The supporters became increasingly aggressive towards police officers.
“A number of bottles and bricks were thrown.
“A group surged twice towards one police line, causing police horses to rear.
“A police horse was struck in the face by a rock, another horse was punched.
“Supporters threw bottles and other items towards the police escort and police vehicles were attacked.”
The court heard some Sunderland fans were happy to goad back and try to get at the rival supporters to continue the trouble.
But others felt the protective police cordon actually made them a sitting target.
Miss Dowling said: “Supporters were panicking, telling the officers they were an easy target because they were hemmed in by the police escort.
“The escort was under attack as it made its way down St James Boulevard.
“Some motor vehicles were forced to come to a stop as supporters surged across the road.
“Some Sunderland supporters themselves were trying to escape the escort to go and fight with Newcastle supporters.”
The court heard a large crowd of Newcastle fans confronted police at Westgate Road.
Miss Dowling said: “Footage shows a large number of males shouting abuse.
“They were throwing missiles and bottles towards the police escort.
“Bins were turned over and men were seen ransacking bins, looking for items to throw.
“Numerous bottles were thrown.
“At times bottles came close to members of the public.
“There were smoke bombs, bins set on fire.
“Members of the public were seen running for safety.”
The court heard the trouble followed the police escort which was trying to get Sunderland fans back to safety.
Miss Dowling added: “It was obviously an effort to attack the opposing supporters.”
The court heard Newcastle fans stormed Central Station despite efforts to keep them out.
Police officers were injured when they came under attack with coins and bottles and members of the public were left terrified as they made their way to catch trains.