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Jury out in trial of Charlton Athletic fan accused of attempting to punch Crystal Palace’s eagle during alleged ‘football violence’

PUBLISHED: 12:45 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:45 31 March 2017

The 25-year-old eagle was allegedly punched by a football fan

The 25-year-old eagle was allegedly punched by a football fan

PA/PA Photos

Andy McConville, 48, from Rochester, and Sam Donegan, 25, from Welling were both charged with football violence

A jury is considering its verdicts in the trial of a football fan accused of trying to punch Crystal Palace’s American bald eagle mascot at a cup tie marred by crowd trouble.

Kayla, a 25-year-old bird of prey, was targeted by a Charlton Athletic supporter at a Capital One third-round tie at Selhurst Park on September 23 2015, Croydon Crown Court was told.

Charlton fan Daniel Boylett, 36, of Eltham, south east London, denies attempted criminal damage in the alleged attack on Kayla.

Boylett has been in the dock during the two-week trial alongside Andy McConville, 48, of Rochester, and Sam Donegan, 25, of Welling, who had been charged with football violence.

Kayla’s handler Chris Belsey had been walking her around the Selhurst Park pitch on his forearm when a punch was thrown from the crowd.

Prosecutor Daniel Higgins previously told the court: “As he passed the stand he noticed three or four fans were shouting abuse and one of these three or four lent over the barrier and threw a punch directed at Kayla.

“Mr Belsey is unsure if the punch directed at the eagle had landed.”

Mr Higgins said Kayla “seemed unhurt” but added “due to her delicate bone structure if she had been hit with force, her bones could easily break”.

Boylett, Donegan and McConville each deny a charge of violent disorder.

The jury were directed to acquit Boylett, and McConville on a count of violent disorder due to insufficient evidence earlier this week.

Not guilty verdicts were recorded.

Charlton lost the match 4-1.

Mr Higgins has told the jury there “was disorder at the match before, during and after” the game.

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