AN ISLE of Wight man living in his car brandished a billhook at strangers and assaulted his own mother, magistrates were told.

Terry Lewis, of no fixed abode, appeared before the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court on Monday (August 16).

The 60 year old admitted assault by beating on June 21, and possession of an offensive weapon ­— namely a billhook ­— on August 14.

He also admitted two counts of unlawfully and intentionally threatening another person with a billhook.

Prosecutor, Ann Smout, told the court Lewis's mother had been the one to call the police on June 21 after he became aggressive and pursued her around the house.

She said Lewis had been living with her at the time, with no means to support himself, and described him as an alcoholic who had bouts of abusive and aggressive behaviour, but was the nicest person when sober.

Mrs Smout said an argument at the house culminated with her warning Lewis she would call the police.

He grabbed her by the wrist while she was holding the phone, and later pushed her into a wall and a door.

The court heard the victim hit him and screamed for help before running out of the house.

Mrs Smout said when police arrived, the pair were found in the garden, and the victim told officers she did not want Lewis to return to the house.

In police interview, Lewis denied assault initially, but later admitted the offence and was released on conditional bail.

The court heard later, on August 14, two people had been driving into Westridge Car Park on Brading Road following an altercation with another driver.

Mrs Smout said Lewis, who was not involved in the altercation, approached their car and asked the pair why they were shouting and screaming.

She said when they moved their car away, Lewis went to his own car and returned with a weapon described as a machete and waved it in the air.

Mrs Smout said the victims drove off in a panic, then returned to film Lewis from a distance.

Police arrived and arrested Lewis, and the billhook was found on the driving seat of his car.

In police interview, Lewis said the billhook was a tool and he had been living in his car and living in fear.

James Cameron, defending, said Lewis accepted grabbing the phone out of his mother's hands and had a problem with alcohol ever since his wife died four years ago.

He said both incidents occurred while he was under the influence of alcohol, and since the first incident, he had been living in his car in the Westridge area.

Mr Cameron told the court Lewis had been on edge ever since someone attacked him and smashed his car windscreen, and thought it was going to happen again.

He said the billhook was used to chop wood for a Kelly Kettle, and Lewis had no intention of using it as a weapon.

He said he brandished it to make the pair go away, and was suffering from sleep deprivation at the time.

Mr Cameron said Lewis was a person late to committing offences and perhaps needed bereavement counselling.

A probation report was ordered and sentencing was adjourned to September 6.