An unwelcome neighbor was imprisoned for hitting a churchwarden with a bag. Darren Dunbar, 55, was locked up for six weeks and banned from entering the Minster Church of St Andrew in the town centre.

Dunbar, who has mental health issues, has a history of annoying residents in Ham.

He previously denied the simple assault of Philip Harley on March 4 last year. But he failed to appear at Plymouth Magistrates Court and was found guilty in his absence following a trial.

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Dunbar, of Jedburgh Crescent, was also ordered to pay his victim £100 compensation and a £28 victim fine surcharge.

Court records state the reason for the custody: “So serious an offense because the assault consisted of hitting a churchwarden with a bag. The accused knew he was ‘prohibited’ from entering the church.

“Previous convictions for violence and non-compliance with court orders in the past.” The defendant also has an earlier form for not appearing in court.

Magistrates also passed a two-year restraining order barring Dunbar from contacting Mr Harley and entering the church. Dunbar was jailed for 13 weeks in December 2020 for breaching the Criminal Conduct Order imposed in 2016.

He broke the order by staying in the Roundabout pub in North Hill and refusing to leave when asked. Dunbar was locked up after being convicted of banging his trash can and shouting in the street in 2017.

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