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Man jailed for cathedral rampage

A man who climbed on top of a cathedral altar after pulling down his trousers and then punched a 70-year-old woman in the face has been jailed.

Nicholas Courtney, 35, claims he walked into Exeter Cathedral to pray before being overcome by the urge to "give everything to God".

He placed £20 in a donation box before removing his trousers - exposing his buttocks to worshippers and visitors.

Courtney then ran to the cathedral's high altar and jumped on top, before leaping off, breaking a crucifix and fleeing the building.

Nicholas Courtney said he felt a sudden urge to "give everything to God". Credit: PA Wire

He smacked an outraged onlooker after she began reprimanding him, then targeted a 70-year-old woman who was posing for a picture with her young grandchildren ahead of her fourth course of chemotherapy.

Courtney punched her in the right eye, causing the grandmother to fall to the ground and break her wrist.

Stunned members of the public outside the cathedral were able to pin Courtney down and restrain him until police arrived.

Tattooed Courtney pleaded guilty to criminal damage and inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was jailed for a total of 26 months at Exeter Crown Court.

'Facebook' invented in 1902, news archive shows

'Face-book' was originally an Edwardian parlour game, a newspaper report from 1902 has revealed.

A report in Exeter newspaper The Western Times from 1902 Credit: PA

As the social networking giant celebrates its 10th birthday, a 1902 clipping from Exeter newspaper The Western Times shows that a paper prototype called Face-book was "the latest novelty for wiling the time in a country house."

Read: Facebook: Cash and controversy 10 years on

The lower-tech version involved guests at stately homes drawing a picture of a face in an album before signing it, with the newspaper adding: "The result is very amusing and the worst drawings frequently cause the greatest entertainment."

Read: Has Facebook made life better or worse? Your views

Amy Sell, a researcher from the British Newspaper Archive, said: "Forgotten stories like this really enrich what we know about the past. It's surprising just how closely the 'Face-book' of 1902 reflects what we use today - history certainly does seem to repeat itself."

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TV burglar jailed after he goes back to crime

Derek Bray. Credit: Exeter Court Service

A serial burglar who boasted on television about being a reformed character has been jailed for six years for raiding the homes of two sleeping pensioners.

Derek Bray was watched by millions of viewers on the Channel Four series Thief Catchers as he told how a special police unit had helped him turn his back on a lifetime of crime and drugs.

He moved to Exeter from Bristol to start a new life but soon drifted back into his old ways and has now been jailed for a crime spree in which he raided four homes in the space of a few weeks.

Bray, aged 37, of Blackall Road, Exeter, admitted two burglaries, two thefts, taking a car without consent, handling, and asked for three other offences to be considered.

He was jailed for six years by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, at Exeter Crown Court, who was told that Bray has 35 previous convictions dating back to his teens.

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