Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans in Dock; GROUP ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN VIOLENT CLASH APPEAR IN COURT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fans in Dock; GROUP ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN VIOLENT CLASH APPEAR IN COURT

Article excerpt

Byline: DAN WARBURTON

A SUNDERLAND fan allegedly caught up in a fierce stand-off between rival football factions was trying to protect a friend who was lying in a pool of blood, a court heard.

Gary Horwood is among dozens of alleged hooligans involved in a violent clash at Newcastle's Central Station on August 8 last year.

Trouble began as Sunderland supporters travelled home from a pre-season friendly in Scotland, it is claimed. Members of the group clashed with the officers who drew batons to restrain the rowdy crowd from spilling on to the streets of Newcastle.

Mr Horwood, of Woodland Drive, High Barnes, Sunderland, was charged with violent disorder after the incident The 36-year-old father-of-two claims he was standing over a friend who lost four pints of blood when he was arrested.

But during a hearing at Sunderland Magistrates' Court yesterday, Lee Crozier, prosecuting, said violence flared when officers tried to escort fans on to a waiting Metro after their trip from Scotland.

When they reached the ticket machine the group erupted in rage and began attacking officers and police dogs, it is claimed. Mr Crozier said: "There were at least two statements from guards on the train outlining the behaviour of the fans in a very negative fashion.

"Once they came back to Newcastle they were met by police who tried to cordon them off and escort them to the Metro platform.

"The atmosphere quickly changed from being one of drunkenness to an atmosphere that was nasty and very aggressive.

"The group started bouncing and then rushed the police and attacked officers before turning on the police dogs."

Also allegedly caught up in the fracas was Black Cats groundsman John Richmond, who has not been able to work since he was charged with violent disorder last year because his bail conditions require he does not go near the Stadium of Light on match days. …

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