LORD Cardigan has been bound over to keep the peace and be of good behaviour after charges of theft and criminal damage were dropped against him.

The 59-year-old Earl, who is currently on job seekers’ allowance, begrudgingly agreed to the order when he appeared at Swindon Crown Court yesterday.

When Judge Douglas Field asked him if he was prepared to bound over for the sum of £200 he replied from the dock “Reluctantly, but yes sir.”

Cardigan, appearing under the name David Brudenell-Bruce, had been due to stand trial for theft of a car battery and criminal damage to six pheasant feeders.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “The battery I am accused of stealing is sitting at the end of my garden exactly where it always was. For nine months the world’s press has been told I stole a car battery.

“These charges shouldn’t have been brought in the first place: what would I want with a used battery that doesn’t fit my car?

“There are written complaints by me in front of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and also the body that represents malpractice by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

He insisted there were a number of damaged pheasant feeders in the forest on his estate and they had not been damaged by him. The battery was for powering an electric fence.

Cardigan was acquitted last week of assaulting John Moore, a trustee of the Savernake Estate, and is seeking to have him removed from post in the civil courts.

“I will not rest until I have removed him from his position which he has defiled. If it takes me to the rest of my life that man will go," he said after the case ended.