A PEDESTRIAN had to use a traffic cone to fend off a man brandishing a six foot pole with a chisel welded to it.

In the early hours of May 31, David O’Mahoney was in Bradshawgate, Bolton, and became furious, claiming a his pouch of tobacco had been stolen.

Colin Buckle, prosecuting at Bolton Crown Court, told how O’Mahoney went into an alley beside Yates’ bar and returned to the main road with the weapon, which he claimed to have found, resulting in shocked onlookers calling police.

The court heard O’Mahoney’s claims that, at around 4am, he was outside the bar when a woman approached him asking for a cigarette and so he handed her his tobacco pouch.

But she then walked off with it and refused to hand it back and a man who was with her swung a bag at him.

“He says that he went down the alley and found this item and brought it out to effectively threaten them to hand over the tobacco which belonged to the defendant,” said Mr Buckle.

O’Mahoney was seen on town centre CCTV walking up and down the middle of the road swinging and brandishing the pole and chisel.

At one stage a man had to pick up a traffic cone from road works in order to protect himself.

“The defendant clearly brandishes the weapon at a pedestrian.

"The pedestrian no doubt fears being struck and arms himself with a traffic cone, “ said Mr Buckle.

“The incident was relatively protracted.”

But O’Mahoney later told police: “I had no intention to cause anybody any injury with the pole. I merely wanted to use it as a threat to get my tobacco back. If it hadn’t been stolen this would not have happened.”

O’Mahoney, aged 45, of Park Road, Bolton, guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in public.

The court heard that he has four previous convictions for similar offences.

Aram Khan, defending, stressed that O’Mahoney had not made the weapon and had found it lying in the alleyway.

“There was no intention to use this weapon,” she said, adding that it is 12 years since his last conviction for possessing a knife or weapon.

She appealed to Judge Graeme Smith not to jail O’Mahoney immediately, stating that he has caring responsibilities for a relative.

But the judge told O’Mahoney that this was not possible because of the seriousness of the offence and his previous criminal record and jailed him for four months.

He told the defendant: “There is no suggestion that you yourself adapted this article, which appears to be a chisel very securely welded on a metal pole.

"That makes it particularly dangerous.

“A chisel itself can be a dangerous weapon, when it is welded to a long metal pole so it can be swung from a distance, that makes it considerably more dangerous — firstly because it can be used at a distance, secondly because a certain degree of force can be generated behind the swing which would lead to greater injury.

“Although it was the small hours of the morning it was busy, there were pedestrians around.

“You had a number of opportunities to walk away before you did.”