VAGRANT Mel Bird was back in court on a public order offence today.

The 57-year-old - who confesses to preferring beer to water - has held regular court on Leyburn Market Place throughout the summer after frustrating a number of attempts to have him moved on.

However, he was locked up for drink-driving last month and, today, faced two charges of using threatening abusive or insulting words or disorderly behaviour.

The prosecution informed Richmond magistrates today that one charge relating to an incident on August 5 this year had been withdrawn.

The other, relating to a separate incident on October 3, was also dismissed when Bird agreed to be bound over to keep the peace for 12 months in the sum of £50.

Giving brief details, Crown Prosecution Service solicitor, Jane Cook, said the second charge arose after Bird shouted abuse at a woman passer-by who asked him to keep his dogs under control after they were seen loose on Leyburn Market Place.

Other than agreeing to be bound over, Bird made no further comment in court today.

The well-educated ''man of the road'' originally had the support of Lady Bolton when moves were made to have him removed from Leyburn.

However, Bird lost what allies he had around town when his behaviour began to deteriorate after his mother's death in the spring.

He was sent to prison for six months on October 9 after he was caught drunk at the wheel of a car he bought with money from his inheritance, despite being banned from the roads for a previous drink-driving offence.

His sentence was subsequently halved on appeal.