Court hears how Charlton fan tried to punch Crystal Palace’s eagle in the head

By Adam Ellis

A court has heard how a Charlton Athletic fan tried to punch Crystal Palace’s eagle mascot during the two London clubs’ heated League Cup encounter in September 2015.

Palace’s eagle, named Kayla, was being taken around the outskirts of the pitch at Selhurst Park by her handler when the Addicks supporter allegedly targeted the mascot.

“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,” prosecutor Daniel Higgins told Croydon Crown Court.

“Mr Belsey (the eagle’s handler) is unsure if the punch directed at the eagle had landed.

“He pulled Kayla away slightly to keep her from any further attack and then walked away,” Higgins explained.

The travelling support did not have much to cheer in their clash with their south-east London rivals, as a Dwight Gayle hat-trick condemned them to an exit at the third-round stage in a 4-1 defeat for Guy Luzon’s side.

The Charlton supporter denies charges of attempted criminal damage.

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