A MAN who wandered the streets of Ryde holding an axe and a homemade knuckleduster said he was 'hysterically emotional' and had no intention of hurting anyone.

Jason Butchers, 39, of Monkton Street, Ryde, appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court last Tuesday, where he admitted two charges — possession of a bladed article and an offensive weapon in public.

He was arrested after members of the public — including children — spotted him at Ryde High Street on July 28.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said: "At around 1pm, a van was driving along Ryde Hight Street when the driver spotted Butcher in the road holding the axe. His children were with him and became distressed.

"When police found Butchers, he was lying on a bench and had placed the items on either side of him.

"He told officers he had been chopping wood in his back garden when he became hysterically emotional. He said he intended to find help, not to harm anyone."

The court heard Butchers had dislocated his knuckles after punching a wall and had gone to his GP for help, but found the surgery was closed.

Barry Arnett, defending, said: "Mr Butchers has cooperated fully with the police and mental health services, and he knows there are things he needs to do to avoid getting himself into that situation again.

"In the cold light of day, once he was able to get a look at his actions and anaylse things, he realised what he had done was a mistake."

Presiding magistrate Gordon Cooper said: "This is an unusual offence. But the truth of the matter is, regardless of your state of mind, you cant go wandering around the streets clutching an axe."

Magistrates imposed a three-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Butchers was also ordered to attend 30 rehabilitation days and pay court costs of £85.