Two Newcastle United Fans convicted over causing mass pub brawl during Carabao Cup Final which included throwing a table off an elderly man’s head

Two Newcastle United fans have been convicted of causing a violent brawl inside a pub while NUFC were playing in the Carabao Cup final.

Around 130 Newcastle fans, including a woman with a young baby and elderly people, had packed into the Black Bull pub, in Benton, North Tyneside, on February 26 last year to watch the final against Man United at Wembley.

However the day out turned to fear and distress shortly before half-time when Brett Armstrong and Curtis Bateman sparked ugly scenes of violence during which punches, tables and a plant pot were thrown.

A woman was among those punched, a table hit an elderly man on the head and TV in the beer garden worth thousands was smashed with a plant pot during the pair’s “rampage”.

Now Armstrong, who branded himself a “scumbag” and Bateman, both of Cotswold Gardens, High Heaton, Newcastle, have been given suspended prison sentences at Newcastle Crown Court.

Rachel Glover, prosecuting, said: “Shortly after 5pm the pub manager heard glass breaking and people screaming. He saw customers and members of staff trying to stop the two defendants, who were punching other customers.

“Mr Armstrong was punching a customer who ended up with minor cuts and bruises to their eye. When the manager pulled him off the customer, he tried to punch him in the face but missed. Mr Bateman was also seen punching other people in the bar.”

CCTV of the brawl was played to the court, showing Bateman wearing a Newcastle United top for parts of the incident. At one point he had hold of an empty glass and a concerned woman was seen trying to move glasses out of the way.

Bateman was seen at one point to punch a woman with blond hair in the face. And Armstrong threw a table at one point, which hit an elderly man on the back of the head.

A fight then broke out between them and a number of people before they moved to the beer garden. Armstrong threw a plant pot and, while the footage doesn’t show where it landed, a TV outside was damaged and the cost of the damage was around £6,000.

Three people were injured, including one who was struck with a glass, but none of them pursued a complaint.

Armstrong and Bateman were identified as the culprits by the manager because they were regulars in the pub. Referring to a victim impact statement from the manager, Miss Glover said: “Unfortunately, due to the incident the reputation of the pub has been lowered and gone downhill.

“They had a number of complaints from head office and it was well-publicised on social media a serious incident had occurred and this prevented people from going to the pub.” The manager said the pub will not tolerate such behaviour.

Bateman, 27, who has six previous convictions including for GBH and assault, and Armstrong, 28, who has one previous conviction for making off without payment, both pleaded guilty to affray and Armstrong also admitted criminal damage.

Recorder Richard Herrmann said: “This was a packed pub on a Sunday afternoon full of Newcastle United supporters watching a football match, including a woman with a very young baby and elderly people. Those people must have been absolutely terrified about what was unfolding in front of them.

“Any right-minded person would be petrified with glasses being used and tables thrown.”

Sentencing the pair, he added: “The CCTV shows your appalling behaviour. The pub was packed out by football fans enjoying their day before you began your rampage. This was such a serious event, with so many innocent people standing by, it’s obvious there must have been serious distress and fear caused by the appalling way you behaved.”

The judge said he was only just persuaded he could suspend the sentence. Both got 20 months suspended for two years with 250 hours unpaid work and Armstrong must pay £6,000 compensation at £500 a month.

Matthew Purves, for Armstrong, said alcohol played a big part in his behaviour. He added that he claimed his behaviour happened after being assaulted in the toilet area. Mr Purves added: “Whether that’s right or wrong, the the reaction that occurred is wholly unacceptable.