‘Community menace’ sees town centre ban extended for another year

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david channell ban
Channell caught on CCTV hurling abuse at Ms Hunter

A MAN branded a “menace to the community” had a restraining order banning him from New Milton town centre extended for another year after losing an appeal against his conviction for harassment.

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David Channell (52) had repeatedly abused and threatened traders and members of the public in the town over a period of a year.

One of his victims, Annette Hunter, had told the A&T how she was left “terrified” by his behaviour after he repeatedly targeted her business New Miltan, a boutique tanning salon in Station Road.

This week an appeal by Channell against a previous conviction and sentence was dismissed by a judge at Southampton Crown Court.

Channell did not turn up for the hearing in which the order banning him from the High Street was extended for another year.

Speaking after the appeal, Ms Hunter said: “I’m relieved that after 19 months and 10 court appearances the judge agreed with the evidence and upheld David Channell’s conviction and extended the restraining order for a further year, totalling two years.

“Not only does it protect my safety, but that of the local community.”

Channell pleaded guilty at Poole Magistrates’ Court last October to six counts of abusive and threatening behaviour including one charge of abusing a 78-year-old woman.

He had also previously been found guilty in his absence of two similar charges by Southampton magistrates.

Magistrates at Poole decided to give him “one last chance” and did not jail him for the offences. Instead they gave him a community order and banned him from going near Ms Hunter.

But within days he was back at her tanning salon shouting abuse at her – something she caught on CCTV.

In January this year he was found guilty at Southampton Crown Court of harassing Ms Hunter and jailed for 12 months. He was also sentenced to a further four months for breaking the restraining order.

He was also banned from New Milton town centre for a year.

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