TWO South Tyneside football yobs have been jailed for their part in the violence that erupted after the last Tyne-Wear derby.
Jason Daw and Daniel Wood were also given football banning orders keeping them away from matches and stadia for six years following the shameful scenes in Newcastle in April.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how thugs threw bottles, bricks and smoke bombs at police in a bid to attack rival Sunderland supporters who were being escorted away from St James’s Park after a 3-0 win over their Magpie rivals.
Judge James Goss QC yesterday jailed seven men, including Daw and Wood, who were involved in the violence and said deterrent sentences must be passed in such cases. None of them had actually been to the match.
Daw was seen at the front of a group confronting police horses and their riders and was caught on CCTV throwing three or four bottles he had picked up from an upturned bin.
The 26-year-old, of John Williamson Street, South Shields, was jailed for 16 months after admitting violent disorder.
Wood, 22, of May Close, Hebburn, also admitted violent disorder and was jailed for 12 months.
The court heard the former season ticket holder “made the dreadful mistake” of spending £70 on vodkas while watching the match in a bar before the trouble, in which he threw bottles and lashed out at a police van.
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”.
The judge said: “AThose 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, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court around 1,000 officers from Northumbria Police were deployed in the city and a further 53 at the Central Station.
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: “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.”
The court heard some Sunderland fans were happy to goad back and try and get at the rival supporters to continue the trouble but others felt the protective police cordon actually made them a sitting target.
A large crowd of Newcastle fans confronted police at Westgate Road.
Miss Dowling added: “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.”
Jamie Adams, defending Daw, said: “It was not a planned event that they came prepared for.
“Reports say each of them is showing remorse, they have shown themselves to be ashamed of what they have done.”
Rachel Hedworth, defending Wood, said he came from a respectable family, is doing well on an apprenticeship and is “done with football”.
More defendants who were involved in the trouble will be dealt with by the courts in the coming weeks.
Others jailed yesterday included Reece Gillon, 21, of Stanley Road, Prudhoe, Gary Boyd, 20, of Clavering Road, Swalwell and Byron Ford, 27, of Milburn Road, Ashington, who all admitted violent disorder. Gillon received 21 months, Boyd 15 months and Ford for 12 months.
Liam Gray, 18, of The Crescent, Dunston, and Nathan Murphy, 18, from Grange Crescent, Leam Lane, also admitted violent disorder. Gray was jailed for 18 months and Murphy for 10 months.
All were given football banning orders to keep them away from matches and stadia for six years.
DCI Ged Noble, of Northumbria Police, said: “We’re pleased that a number of people have now been dealt with by the courts and hope this sends out the message that any sort of violent or disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated.
“This is still very much an active investigation with more than 100 arrests made, many people charged and going through the court process, and further charges under consideration.”