AN ice cream man caught with a cache of weapons said he needed the knives to open boxes of cornets and flakes.

Grant William Minchion, aged 23, of Vulcan Close, Padgate, was stopped by Cheshire Police in his ice cream van when weapons were found.

Warrington Magistrates Court heard on Friday how Minchion was keeping nunchuks, a type of martial arts weapon, a throwing knife, lock knife and Stanley knife in the vehicle.

The court heard the defendant claimed to have been given the throwing knife by a 'kid' in exchange for a Cornetto ice cream.

Minchion said he kept it as it was good for opening boxes.

Alison Warburton, prosecuting, said: "During the course of a search, police found a lock knife in a draw with money.

"Nunchuks were in the glovebox and knives in a sink behind the driver.

"The defendant was arrested and interviewed.

"Regarding the nunchuks, he said I wouldn't know what to call them but I know what they are.

"They are homemade, not ones you can train with.

"He said they belonged to someone else - an 18-year-old male - and the other male had brought them into the van in April because he was being bullied.

"He said I intended to give them back but it slipped my mind because I was busy with work.

"The throwing knife he said was used to cut open boxes and had been given by a kid on his round."

Minchion also claimed the Stanley knife and lock knife were used for 'opening stock'.

The incident happened on October 14 on Ballater Drive.

At court on Friday, Minchion pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, and two counts of possessing a bladed article in a public place.

The court heard Minchion has no previous convictions, and that there was no allegation any of the weapons had been used to commit a crime.

The defendant no longer has the ice cream van and is now on benefits.

Magistrates adjourned the hearing for a pre-sentence report to be carried out.

An immediate prison sentence will be considered, the court heard.

Minchion will be sentenced at Halton Magistrates Court on November 24.