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.