A man who had been seen tombstoning naked on a busy Sunday in Ilfracombe has been given a fine.

Magistrates at North Devon Magistrates Court heard that Luke Harris, 24, of Oliver Road, Barnstaple jumped into Ilfracombe harbour without permission from the harbourmaster.

On Sunday, July 8 he had been seen naked and in full view of families and children on South Quay. He ignored requests from the deputy Harbourmaster to get dressed, and instead jumped into the water five metres below.

He was fined £250, as well as a victim surcharge of £30 and costs of £60. The maximum fine for jumping off the harbour is £1,000.

Ilfracombe harbourmaster Georgina Carlo-Paat said: “Not only is tombstoning in the harbour extremely dangerous, it is also against the law.

“Jumping from the harbour walls may seem like good fun, but people who do this are risking their own lives. The harbour structures themselves can be dangerous, with chains and protrusions that can cause injury before someone has even hit the water.

“The water depth alters with the tide and water may be shallower than it seems, with submerged objects like rocks beneath the water.

“Boats and ships come in and out of the harbour all the time, and currents can be strong, even when the water appears calm.

“The risk is even higher when the participants have been drinking heavily.

“I hope the prosecution sends out a clear message to the public that tombstoning will not be tolerated at the harbour; together with the police and CCTV evidence, we will continue to monitor this behaviour and tackle it before somebody gets seriously hurt, or worse.”