A football fan in Britain who punched a police horse following a clash between Newcastle and Sunderland has been warned to expect jail.
Barry Rogerson, 45, a Newcastle fan, admitted an offence of violent disorder.
Rogerson, of Hartlands, Bedlington, was charged after police clashed with Newcastle fans in the city after the Tyne-Wear derby last April. Sunderland won the match 3-0, its first win in Newcastle in 13 years.
Video footage was captured of police horse Bud, a Shire-cross who works with the West Yorkshire Police mounted unit, being punched in the head by Rogerson, who wore a scarf over part of his face, as police worked to control the unruly crowd.
An officer on foot immediately tackled Rogerson to the ground following the assault.
Rogers, an unemployed factory worker, had previously denied the offence during his first appearance a fortnight ago.
He was granted bail and faces sentence in Newcastle Crown Court on October 24.
Rogerson was among six defendants who admitted violent disorder arising out of the post-match clashes.
Judge James Goss warned that the offences were serious: “Please don’t think anything other than imprisonment is going to be passed for this offence,” he said.
Rogerson was interviewed by reporters in the days following the attack, at times in tears. He apologised, telling reporters: “I reacted stupidly. I did not go out to attack a horse.”
He described himself as an animal lover.
“I am on medication and had been drinking, but that does not excuse what happened.”
Bud, a seven-year veteran of the force, escaped injury in the assault, but was given the next day off as a precaution.
The force received hundreds of messages of support for Bud.