A RESTRAINING order has been given to a Rhayader town councillor accused of threatening another man with a metal bar.

Paul Dark, 44, appeared at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour to cause alarm or distress to Haydn Gough.

Despite admitting the offence on the basis that he had been holding the metal bar during the confrontation, Dark, of West Street, Rhayader, maintained that he had not raised it as was alleged by Mr Gough.

Stephen Davies, prosecuting, told the court that the incident happened at a bus stop in St Harmon, at around 4pm on January 30.

“Mr Gough says he was threatened by Mr Dark,” said Mr Davies. “Mr Gough said he was on the bus stop roof, repairing it, and he saw a vehicle pull up.

“Mr Dark came out with a metal bar and said, ‘come down here, I’ll sort you out.’”

Mr Davies added that Mr Gough had felt threatened and had taken a photo of Dark holding the bar. He also said Dark had thrown Mr Gough’s ladder and other items at him.

When interviewed by police, Dark said there had been a civil matter between him and Mr Gough in the past. He denied threatening and throwing items at him, but admitted they had “exchanged words.”

Owain Jones, for Dark, said he was pleading guilty as he could now see that Mr Gough may have felt threatened.

“A lot of what has been said is disputed,” said Mr Jones.

“There is a photo showing the defendant holding a metal bar down at his side. He is not charged with the more serious offence of making a threat of violence.

“There is obviously a long standing dispute between the complainant and the defendant.”

He added Mr Gough had previously carried out building work at Dark’s pub, which was “not up to scratch” and there was a dispute over payment. Mr Gough had also accused Dark of damaging his van, which had angered him and he “wanted to make a point.”

Mr Jones added: “He has not been in trouble since 1998. He is ashamed by this.

“He does a lot of charity work and he knows this will effectively bring an end to that. He is a town councillor and knows that this conviction will impact that.”

Dark was told to pay a £600 fine, £85 costs and a £60 surcharge. A restraining order was also put in place for nine months, to stop Dark approaching or contacting Mr Gough.