A painter has admitted arming himself with an axe during a confrontation in a Tiverton car park.
Kevin Jones took out the axe to show others he had the weapon, but did not use it during the argument in the Market Square car park last November.
Jones admitted having the axe but submitted a basis of plea which made it clear he had only shown it to the other people involved in the incident rather than used it.
He was arrested after police were called to a disturbance at a pub in the area and recovered an axe at the car park.
Judge Phillip Wassall accepted the plea after retiring to look at CCTV footage which showed another man being aggressive with Jones and him responding.
Painter and decorator Jones, 31, of Belmont Road, Tiverton, admitted having an axe as a bladed article in the Market Car Park on November 17, 2013, and his case was adjourned for reports at Exeter Crown Court.
Miss Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said officers had examined CCTV footage of the incident which supported much of Jones’s account.
She said:”Having read the statements of the prosecution witnesses I was surprised when I viewed the CCTV. Consideration was given to adding a count of affray but on the basis of the CCTV it simply could not he made out.”
Miss Emily Cook, defending, said Jones had not initiated the trouble and at one point tried to walk away. She said he showed the axe to prove he had it, rather than to use it.
She said:”He was standing up for himself in response to aggression and he then walks away.”
Judge Wassall said: ”Having seen the CCTV, I will not need to hear from the witnesses. He showed the axe in the context of an aggressive exchange to let the other man know it was there.
“Jones accepts the other man was aggressive and he was aggressive back. The case must come back before me when we have pre-sentence reports but all sentencing options will be open.”