A Milford Haven man who armed himself with a hammer amid fears for his safety has been warned to stay away from hardware shops.

Thomas John Picton pleaded guilty to being in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, and possession of a Class C drug when he appeared from custody before Haverfordwest magistrates on Wednesday, August 1.

Picton, of Chestnut Way, Mount Estate, also accepted that the offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge which had been imposed by the court in February.

Sian Vaughan, prosecuting, told the court that Picton was arrested in Milford Haven for an unrelated matter on July 31, and was found to be in possession of a hammer and six diazepam tablets when searched.

He told police that he was carrying the hammer for protection, in case a man he knew pulled a knife out on him, but had no intention of using it.

Miss Vaughan said: “He said he would not hit anyone with it, but he might throw it if (the man) pulled out a knife. He said he would not throw it at his head.”

Jonathan Webb, defending, said: “He had not pulled it out. He was carrying it around because he felt he needed protection from this other person who arms himself with knives.”

Mr Webb added that there was no evidence the six-inch ‘stump hammer’ had been used to threaten anyone, and Picton, 33, carried it in his pocket.

The court heard that unemployed Picton, who was currently receiving treatment for drug issues, had experienced problems with an acquaintance from the area, which led him to fear for his safety.

He was prescribed diazepam, but was buying more drugs on the street to take in addition to his medication.

Magistrates imposed an 18 month supervision order with a 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Picton was fined £140 and ordered to pay £85 court costs plus a £85 victim surcharge. The bench issued a destruction order for the hammer and drugs.

The chairman of the bench advised Picton to take advantage of the help he was offered.

“Otherwise one day someone will find you in a ditch.”

He added: “And don’t go into any hardware shops.”