Scorton pensioner assaulted vicar and displayed insulting poster about him after land row

A pensioner who assaulted a village vicar and printed and displayed an insulting poster about him in his car has been fined.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 1:44 pm

The feud between clergyman Rev Anton Muller, the vicar of All Saints, Barnacre, St. John’s, Calder Vale, and St. Peter’s, Scorton, and 82-year-old resident Peter Camm is said to relate to a piece of land behind a vicarage, which the pensioner used to walk his dog.

Rev Muller, who has also served as Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in Lancashire, is currently protected from contact from Mr Camm by a restraining order imposed on the pensioner last October after an earlier incident.

His vicarage backs onto Mr Camm’s house and magistrates were previously told there has been animosity between them for some time.

Rev Anton Muller
Rev Anton Muller

In October 2019, the OAP was convicted of assaulting the vicar after a notice had been published in a church newsletter saying dog walker Mr Camm was “banned” from a piece of land behind the vicarage.

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It is understood the clergyman was punched during an argument in a field, after the vicar had confronted him.

The court heard in November 2019 Mr Camm went on to make a ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ poster, which he displayed in the front of his car.

It depicted the pensioner’s pet dog as ‘the good’, a picture of the vicar - sporting the injuries he sustained in the previous assault - as “the bad and the ugly".

Mr Camm, of The Square, Scorton, near Lancaster, pleaded guilty to a public order offence of displaying “any writing, sign or other visible representation” which was threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing harassment, alarm or distress.

But those proceedings were adjourned for a probe into a further incident on Boxing Day 2019.

Mr Camm was due to face a trial over charges of assaulting the vicar and breaching the restraining order on that date. However, the Post has learned in April he changed his pleas to guilty and he has since been fined a total of £345.

He must pay £119 in victim surcharges and £285 costs.

The bench said it did not order compensation because "there was a degree of responsibility on Mr Muller's part" for the incident.

The court extended the restraining order by 18 months.

The Post approached Rev Muller and the Diocese for comment.

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