Newcastle thugs used bricks, bottles and smoke bombs in onslaught against police and Sunderland fans

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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 after a 3-0 win.

Police officers, dogs and horses came under attack by the furious mob after NUFC were thrashed during a derby day clash in April.

Large scale violence flared as police escorted Sunderland supporters away from St. James’ 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 were 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 cases 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 troube 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 Newcastle’s 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 and 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.”

Newcastle fans’ violent onslaught

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.

Barry Rogerson, 45, of Bedlington, Northumberland has admitted he punched the police horse, named Bud, and will be sentenced at a later date after he admitted violent disorder.

Jason Daw, 26, of John Williamson Street, South Shields, Reece Gillon, 21, of Stanley Road, Prudhoe, Gary Boyd, 20, of Clavering Road, Swalwell and Byron Ford, 27, of Milburn Road, Ashington, all admitted violent disorder.

Daw was seen at the front of the group confronting the police horses and their riders and was caught on cctv throwing three or four bottles he had picked up from an upturned bin.

Daw was jailed for 16 months, Gillon for 21 months, Boyd for 15 months and Ford for 12 months.

Jamie Adams, defending all four men, 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.”

Daniel 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.

Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Wood accepts his behaviour, which involved throwing bottles and lashing out at a police van, was “despicable”.

Miss Hedworth said Wood comes from a respectable family, is doing well on an apprenticeship and is “done with football”.

Liam Gray, 18, of The Crescent, Dunston, and Nathan Murphy, 18, from Grange Crescent, Leam Lane admitted violent disorder.

Gray was jailed for 18 months and murphy for 10 months.

All seven men were given football banning orders to keep them away from matches and stadiums for six years.

More defendants who were involved in the trouble will be dealt with by the courts in the coming weeks.