56-year-old soccer hooligan jailed for five years
LONDON (AP) - A 56-year-old Millwall fan became Britain's oldest convicted soccer hooligan Monday when he was jailed for five years for kicking a police horse.
Raymond Everest, a former match steward at the club, was caught laughing on closed circuit TV cameras after attacking a horse following Millwall's game against Birmingham City on May 2.
Hundreds of fans rioted outside the New Den Stadium after Millwall lost 2-1 in the division one semifinal playoffs. In all, 157 police officers and 26 police horses were hurt.
Prosecutor Tom Wilkins told a jury at Woolwich Crown Court that Everest took part in the rampage, running at police lines and encouraging other thugs to build a barricade to stop charging police horses.
Wilkins said the horse was retreating when Everest launched a kung-fu-style kick from behind, causing the animal to lurch forward in pain.
Defense lawyer Simon Stirling said Everest had supported Millwall since the age of 3 but this was his first offense relating to soccer hooliganism.
Judge Philip Statman told Everest: ``Riot is the gravest of all public order offenses. ... You are the oldest of all those arrested. You have shown from start to finish no remorse.
``You have bought shame on your family and on the club you purport to support. It is difficult to imagine a worse example of behavior by a man in his mid-50s than that you displayed on that particular evening.''
As well as jailing Everest for five years, the judge banned him from all soccer stadiums in England and Wales for the next eight years.