Weston man who punched police horse during World Cup brawl given community order

Regent Street.

Regent Street. - Credit: Archant

A Weston-super-Mare man who punched a police horse in the neck and assaulted a police officer after the England semi-final match of the FIFA World Cup has been given a curfew and community order.

Scott Spurling, aged 23 and of Bristol Road Lower, pleaded guilty to punching a man three times in the face and a police officer outside Allstars Sports Bar in Regent Street after the England V Croatia match on July 11. He also punched a police horse.

Spurling was involved in an altercation with Ron Ganfield on the night of the match, after which a fight broke out in the busy street. Mounted police sergeant David Williams was called to disperse the crowd.

The horse, Quantock, pushed against Spurling who swung around and punched it once in the neck.

Rebecca Pearce, prosecuting at North Somerset Courthouse today (Thursday), said: “PC Mark Hodder witnessed the incident and approached Spurling.

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“Spurling then delivered a right-handed punch towards his face. The punch landed on the stab vest of PC Hodder. He arrested him on the floor at 9.55pm.

“As Spurling was arrested, Mr Ganfield informed police he had been assaulted by him.”

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Mitigating, Sue Cameron told the court Spurling was ‘very remorseful’ for his actions and was previously a man of good character.

He was a social worker, working with disabled and vulnerable adults and children on the Weston estates.

Spurling was ordered to pay £500 in compensation to Mr Ganfield and told he must adhere to a curfew for 10 weeks.

He must also complete a community order lasting 10 weeks.

Sergeant Edward Amor, of the mounted section, said: “We will not tolerate violence towards our staff, including any of our working animals.

“Thankfully neither the officer nor Quantock were injured following the incident.

“The body worn video was able to capture the incident despite the busy scene following the World Cup game.

“This helped us to present a compelling case which resulted in the defendant pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal in court, alongside the other charges.

“I’m also pleased we were able to convict on this stronger charge – assaults on force animals is usually dealt with as criminal damage.”

* For more, pick up the Weston Mercury on September 13.

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