Horse-punch yob locked up

JAILED ... Barry Rogerson.
JAILED ... Barry Rogerson.

A NEWCASTLE United fan who punched a police horse during the Tyne-Wear derby day street violence has been jailed.

Barry Rogerson was jailed for 12 months.

Rogerson attacked Bud the police horse outside St James’s Park after the game on Sunday, April 14.

The 45-year-old, of Bedlington, Northumberland, last month pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder and appeared at Newcastle Crown Court today for sentence.

He was also handed a six-year football banning order.

The cases were heard just days before the rival football teams face each other again at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Sunday.

Robert Adams, mitigating for Rogerson, told the court: “He, perhaps more than any other, has had the humiliation of constant press coverage about his involvement.

“He is extremely embarrassed and ashamed. It has been difficult for him, but also his family and friends.

“He has a very good work record of 22 years, it is only illness that stops him from working. He has never bothered the police before and he has never appeared in any court. He lives on disability allowance and his wife is employed.

“He is therefore a man of difficulties. He is not somebody who has ever supported or encouraged this type of behaviour.

“There is no question he had a large amount to drink on this day.

“He was not involved in any trouble before the match. He appears afterwards to have taken up a position at an early stage.

“When there was a line of Newcastle supporters facing the police, he was joining in with the jeering that was taking part at that stage.

“Sadly, for him, he maintained his position during the two sieges.

“He did not punch any human, officer or Sunderland supporter.”

His Honour Judge Paul Sloan QC, sentencing, said: “You had plenty of opportunity to move away but punched the horse in the head.

“There was a risk of serious injury from what you did. That officer could have been thrown.”

Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert, Newcastle Area Commander, said: “I’m keen to stress this shouldn’t be the lasting impression people have of the city of Newcastle and its football supporters.

“With the derby days away, I’m keen to stress it demonstrates tough action will be taken against anyone involved in such behaviour.”