A FOOTBALL fan has admitted punching a police horse in the face after a derby day match.
Barry Rogerson attacked the animal outside St. James’ Park after the game between Newcastle United and Sunderland on April 14.
The 45-year-old yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder.
He and a further 21 men who have admitted criminal charges resulting from the violence that broke out that day, will be sentenced on October 24 - three days before the rival football teams face each other again.
Rogerson was granted bail in the meantime.
His barrister Robert Adams told the court: “He has stringent bail conditions which prevent him going anywhere near a football stadium.”
Rogerson and the five men he appeared in the dock with today were all granted bail, with conditions to keep them away from football matches, until the sentencing hearing.
During the hearing Emma Dowling, prosecuting, told the court: “The prosecution will be inviting, at sentence, the imposition of football banning orders in respect of all the defendants.”
Judge James Goss QC said the men must co-operate with the probation service in the preparation of pre-sentence reports.
The judge warned them: “Please don’t think the fact I am adjourning for a report and granting you bail is any indication of what the sentence will be.
“This is a serious offence to which you have pleaded guilty and the court will have all sentencing options, including, of course, imprisonment, open to it at the sentencing hearing.
“Please don’t think anything other than imprisonment is going to be passed for this offence.”
Unemployed Barry apologised for his behaviour shortly after he was filmed hitting the horse after Sunderland beat Newcastle three nil.
Following the game there was wide-spread disorder in Newcastle city centre as Toon fans clashed with Sunderland supporters and the police.
Barry, an ex planning controller who has been unemployed for eight years, said: “I never had any intention of getting involved in any riots, I was going to the
next bar and I was in the middle of it all.
“Someone let a fire-cracker off and the horse was charging towards me.
“I just reacted stupidly, I realised what I had done once I was on the floor with police.
“The officers tripped me up, which is why I had blood on my nose, it was all a blur.
“My friend came across and wiped the blood off my nose. I didn’t start out to do it.
“I was trying to get the horse away. I definitely regret it, it is my first offence and I am 45-years-old.”
When asked why he was wearing a scarf around his neck the dad-of-one said: “It looks bad, but my filling fell out and it was cold on Sunday.
“I have had lots of messages, mostly on Facebook and Twitter, there are 700 animal activists after my address.
“I wasn’t drunk, I had two pints before the match and a bottle at half time. The police were fine. They said thank you for being honest and polite.
“I am sorry for hitting the horse, and I am sorry for the whole incident. I have embarrassed myself and my family.”
Rogerson , of Morpeth, Northumberland was wrestled to the ground by an officer after punching police horse Bud, who is said to have made a full recovery following the incident.