A football fan who punched a police horse in the head has been jailed for a year.

Barry Rogerson, from Bedlington, Northumberland, hit Bud, of the West Yorkshire Mounted branch, in the face at a match earlier this year.

The incident occurred during trouble between rival fans after a Newcastle United v Sunderland match at St James’ Park on 14 April.

Newcastle fans set upon rivals Sunderland, after their team was beaten 3-0 at home. More than 100 football supporters rampaged through the streets throwing bottles and bricks. Video footage that seemed to show a fan attacking Bud, caused outrage online.

Rogerson, who is a Newcastle fan, pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 24 October). He was jailed for a year and also banned from going to football matches for 6 years.

Judge Paul Sloan QC said: “You stood your ground and attacked the horse by punching it in the head.

“There was a risk of serious injury, the officer could easily have been thrown from the horse and could have sustained serious injury.”

Bud was unhurt in the attack.

“Our police horses are used to dealing with all types of disorder, so, while the images on the news may have looked shocking, Bud wasn’t hurt and his regular training ensures that he is acclimatised to this type of situation,” Inspector Trevor Thackray of West Yorkshire Police’s mounted section said at the time.