An Isle of Wight man who made online threats against the Island Echo editor and assaulted the owner of a popular Newport pub has appeared in court.

David Dunford, of Thornton Manor Drive, Ryde, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating, harassment without violence and possession of a Class B drug, namely cannabis, at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, October 10.

Lauren Stone, prosecuting, said the 42-year-old was drinking at the Castle Inn pub on High Street, Newport, at 8.20pm on September 9.

Ms Stone told the court Dunford was making inappropriate comments at the bar, in the presence of the pub’s bartender and owner, who asked Dunford to leave.

Dunford refused and made threats to the owner and the pub's DJ, the prosecution said, before the pair took hold of Dunford to remove him from the premises.

Ms Stone said Dunford tried wrapping his legs around one of the building’s support poles when his leg made contact with the DJ, causing a ‘partial fall’.

Dunford then pinched the pub owner, causing bruising and abrasion to the skin, which he admitted to police was ‘reckless’.

The prosecution said Dunford posted comments on the Island Echo Facebook page, between September 25 and 28, and that of its editor, harassing Darren Toogood and making offensive accusations, which included threatening him and his family.

Police later searched Dunford’s property and found cannabis, said Ms Stone.

In a victim statement, Mr Toogood described his ‘alarm and distress’ at the threats posed by Dunford.

Henry Farley, defending, said his client has ‘heard the clang of the prison gates', bringing back ‘horrible’ memories of his imprisonment in 2004.

Mr Farley told the court Dunford went through a period of homelessness and now lives with his son.

Magistrates’ ordered a pre-sentence report ahead of sentencing on November 10.