The Newcastle fan alleged to have punched a horse following last weekend’s derby defeat to Sunderland insists he’s an animal lover.
Unemployed factory work Barry Rogerson, aged 45, from Morpeth, reeled off a list of pets and a penchant for feeding foxes in mitigation for his attack on a police horse.
He told the Daily Mail: “I reacted stupidly. I did not go out to attack a horse.
“I love animals – I’ve got three dogs, a fish pond out the back and I feed foxes across the road.”
Rogerson said the medication he takes for a lung condition and the five pints of beer he drank could have been the cause of his actions.
He also claimed he had not been aware of the riots and had a scarf pulled over his face to protect a tooth after a filling.
He explained: “We just came out of the Terrace Bar in St James’ Park, we turned right and I was right in the middle of it.
“This one particular horse was spooked by a firecracker and charged at me. That’s when I panicked and threw a punch at the horse.
“I tried to get him away from me with my left hand and then punched him with my right. It was sheer panic.
“It was an instant reaction. I’d like to apologise to the horse, to the mounted section and to the people of the North East.”
Rogerson posed for photographs with Candy, his 15-year-old alsatian cross.