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Sunderland Hells Angel 'trainee' lashed out at police horse during Black Lives Matter counter protest

A Hells Angels "trainee" lashed out at a police horse and deliberately put his hand in the animal's mouth during shocking scenes of violence at a Black Lives Matter counter protest.

By Karon Kelly
Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:44 pm

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Widespread trouble flared when members of North East Frontline Patriots, Protect the Monument from Black Lives Matter and other groups, including HellsAngels and veterans, attended the organised demonstration in Newcastle in June 2020.

Newcastle Crown Court heard both groups stated they planned a "peaceful" protest and the counter protesters claimed they were there to protect Grey's Monument.

But prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court from about 2pm that day, parts of the crowd became hostile and violent and police officers, dogs and horses wereinjured as well as members of the public.

Matthew Chapman.

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Objects including glass bottles, metal cans and smoke grenades were thrown.

Mr Perks said Matthew Chapman, 32, was a Hells Angel "prospect or trainee" and had sent "racist" phone messages to pals before he attended the event.

Once there, he targeted his aggression at the Black Lives Matter protesters and police but also at police horses as the animals tried to contain the angry mob.

Mr Perks said: "He pushed a horse's nose, trying to push the horse away, a frustrating tactic to stop the horse.

Philip Scorfield.

"At one point he holds onto the horse, in a bid to steer the horse.

"The horse was clearly distressed and showing its teeth.

"The defendant ignores this and was holding the horse's nose."

The court heard Chapman then turns his attention to a second horse.

Mr Perks said: "The rider steers it to push the defendant back.

"The defendant lashes out at the horse in an aggressive manner, hitting the horse three times on the face and neck.

"The defendant places his hand into the horse's mouth, holding the horse in position, I presume by the bit."

The court heard as Chapman held onto another horse by the reigns even members of his own crowd tried to stop him.

He then pushed that horse's neck, jolting the animal's head back.

Mr Perks said the nose of a horse it the most sensitive area and use of force in that area would be "extremely upsetting" and can cause future behaviouralissues for the animal.

Paul Cross, defending Chapman, said he had written a letter to express his "deep remorse" for what happened and his intentions to "protect the Monumentand our great nation peacefully".

Chapman told the court in the letter: "I'm disgusted in the way I behaved."

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced Chapman, of Church Street East, Sunderland, to 30 months behind bars.

Chapman was one of five people, who all admitted violent disorder, who were sentenced on Friday, May 13, for their part in the counter protest.

Judge Edward Bindloss told them: "Given the scale and size of this disorder in a major city in the United Kingdom an element of deterrent sentence is called for."

At the same hearing Philip Scorfield, 32, of Howlett Hall Road, Newcastle, formerly from Sunderland, was jailed for 29 months.

Derek Haase, 51, of Ross Grove, Cramlington, Northumberland was jailed for 26 months.

Johnny Mann, 36, Acomb Crescent, Gosforth, was jailed for 29 months.

George Coulson, 44, of Beechburn Walk, Newcastle, was jailed for 29 months.