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Church verger given restraining order after abusing local

by Aaron James

A church verger in Suffolk has been given a restraining order and ordered to pay hundreds of pounds in costs, after abusing a local churchgoer.

Michael Birks, 46, was found guilty of a public order offence after using threatening and abusive language towards 70-year-old Mrs Sheila Mutimer in Wilby.

Mr Birks was ordered not to contact Mrs Mutimer for a year, fined £40 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £470 legal costs. A request for compensation to be paid was denied.

He began following Mrs Mutimer, who was walking to the village hall, with his son and two dogs in November last year.

There he said "you'll get what's coming to you", accused Mrs Mutimer's own son of being a murderer and swore at her.

Ipswich Magistrates Court (above) was told the pair lived two doors down from each other and had a dispute involving the council and police.

Mr Birks' defence told the court he was a church verger, but did not reveal where.

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