A baseball bat attacker has been jailed after he terrified shoppers in Ilfracombe High Street.

Christopher Mackintosh had a grudge against the victim and when he saw him pull up in a van in the centre of Ilfracombe, he charged at him with the weapon.

The victim had to take refuge in the back of his van and Mackintosh was banging his hand on the closed doors and shouting when a passing police support officer intervened.

He was already on a suspended sentence at the time of the attack after being caught growing £6,000 worth of cannabis at a friend’s house in 2016.

Mackintosh, aged 36, of High Street, Ilfracombe, denied battery and having an offensive weapon but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court last month.

He was jailed for four months by Judge Timothy Rose on Friday, who also activated four months of the earlier suspended sentence, making a total of eight months.

He told him: “[The victim] feared he would be assaulted with the bat and describer literally diving back into the van to get away from you.

“You banged on the van, with your hands rather than the bat, slamming the back door and whacking he bonnet.

“It was a frightening incident in broad daylight in a main shopping street and it caused concern, fear and distress not only to the victim but also to others who saw it and particularly the PCSO who intervened.

“It is clear to me you lost control of yourself in the way you behaved at the time. It is right to say you did not attack the van further or to smash the windows but by then the PCSO was in attendance.”

Hollie Gilbery, defending, said Mackintosh had been doing well on his suspended sentence, which only had a couple of months to run before this incident.

She said he has seasonal work in the catering industry and would benefit from help from the probation service to reduce his likelihood of reoffending.