In the Media

Facing court, man who fed a sausage roll to police horse

PUBLISHED November 15, 2012

In a rare case, Francis Kelly was charged with causing a breach of the peace in Glasgow earlier this year.

Authorities say the 41-year-old broke the law when he ignored police warnings and gave the pastry to the animal.

But friends of Mr Kelly said tonight that he had done nothing wrong. He gave it a sausage roll because he thought the animal "looked hungry".

Critics said the case was a waste of money and questioned why it was being brought before the courts next year.

Prosecutors will allege that Mr Kelly behaved in a "threatening or abusive manner" by attempting to feed meat to the horse.

The court will also be told that he "adopted an aggressive stance" towards officers when told to put the food away.

Court papers say the incident occurred in the city's south on Sept 26.

It was, however, unclear tonight why the police horses were in the area or when he initially came into contact with the animals.

Mr Kelly, from the Govanhall district of Glasgow, was unavailable for comment tonight.

He is said to deny the charge. A source close to the case insisted that he would be fighting the accusation.

"His view is simply that he thought the horses looked hungry - daft as that sounds," the source said.

Critics tonight took to social networking internet sites to express their anger at the case.

Many said the case was a "waste of money" and showed the world had "gone mad".

"Seriously, is a man to stand trial for feeling a police horse a sausage roll … the world has gone mad," Michelle McLaughlin said on the Twitter microblogging website.

Another user called "Lorraine M", said: "Meanwhile in Glasgow.. Man stands trial for trying to feed sausage roll to a Police Horse. Yes you read right."

Jack Harvey added: "Apparently the officer who charged the man said he heard the horse clearly say 'neigh' when offered the sausage roll. #SausageRollGate."

Some online forums were also dominated by people joking about whether horses liked sausage rolls.

In 2006, an Oxford University student asked a mounted police officer if he realised his horse was "gay" during a night out with friends after his final exams.

Sam Brown, 21, was arrested for making homophobic remarks after he refused to pay an £80 fine. He spent a night in a police cell before charges were dropped. Police defended their decision to pursue the case.

Mr Kelly will return to Glasgow's Justice of the Peace court next February for his trial.

Spokesmen for Strathcylde Police or the Procurator Fiscal's Office were unavailable for comment tonight.