Football thug jailed after punching police horse in head

Football thug jailed after punching police horse

Football thug jailed after punching police horse in head

A man who punched a police horse in the head during a violent confrontation before a football match has been jailed for 20 months.

The incident happened before a derby game between Portsmouth and Southampton football clubs.

Derek Jennings (53), of Laburnum Grove, Portsmouth, was charged with with violent disorder and had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Portsmouth Crown Court was told how he punched police horse Luna in the lead up to the Carabao Cup match on September 24 last year.

The court heard how one of the Police Commanders noticed Jennings becoming aggressive towards police officers and rival Southampton fans during the build-up to the game in Goldsmith Avenue, at the Fratton Way end.

The officer riding Luna headed towards Jennings, who clenched his fist and punched the horse in her nose and mouth.

Luna instantly shied away from the attack but Jennings swung out at Luna twice more before he turned and attempted to run away.

The court was told that Jennings ran towards a group of officers who warned him to stop, with Luna following after him.

He was quickly arrested and taken into custody.

Jennings was handed a 20-month sentence and was given a six-year football banning order.

DCI John McGonigle of Hampshire Constabulary said: “For a grown man to act in this way was deplorable, especially against an animal, who was simply there to help protect people who wanted to enjoy the game and get home safely.

“We hope this sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour or any disorder at any public event.”

He added: “Fortunately, Luna was uninjured and was able to remain on duty, however we made sure she received plenty of care and attention, plus a few extra treats.

“We’d like to thank the public for the outpouring of support we received for Luna, it was very much appreciated.”

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