Somerset

Fan who punched horse after World Cup defeat sentenced

Scott Spurling and police horse Quantock Image copyright PA
Image caption Scott Spurling admitted assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty, assault by beating and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal

A man who punched a police horse after England's World Cup semi-final defeat has been given a community order.

Scott Spurling, 23, admitted attacking police horse Quantock, a police officer and another man outside a bar in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, in July.

North Somerset Magistrates' Court heard Spurling cheered after he punched Quantock in the head and tried to strike PC Mark Hodder in the face.

He was sentenced to a 10-week community order and given a 10-week curfew.

He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to Ron Ganfield, a former Premier League match official, for the injury caused to him.

The court heard Quantock had been brought in to break-up a fight involving Spurling outside the Allstars bar on 11 July.

Prosecutors told magistrates Spurling had hit Mr Ganfield three times in the face in an unprovoked attack, before punching Quantock and PC Hodder, who was trying to arrest him.

Sue Cameron, representing Spurling, said her client had punched the horse after being "pushed back by the animal".

"We accept that any physical contact of that nature with an animal is going to cause unnecessary suffering. There wasn't any injury," she said.

"There may have been a psychological impact on the horse but he is described as being well the following day and grazing in the paddock."

England lost 2-1 to Croatia in the World Cup semi-final in Moscow.

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