A FATHER shouted “I will shank you up” before threatening a man with a five-inch knife at Brighton Open Market.

Joe Charman, 25, had been having an argument with his girlfriend at the market in Marshalls Row.

When a man tried to intervene, Charman threatened him with the knife.

Charman, of Preston Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday to being in possession of a knife blade in a public place.

The court heard the former Brighton and Hove Albion FC kiosk worker had been shouting angrily at his girlfriend about tobacco.

Then he turned his attentions to a have-a-go-hero who tried to calm things down.

Charman started shouting at the man with his arms out wide and threw a cup of tea at him before throwing an advertising board from Bangladeshi takeaway Mohammed Spice of Life.

He then threatened the man with a knife.

Dominic Dudkowski, prosecuting, told the court a woman witnessed the fracas from a window.

He said: “She heard him shout ‘I will shank you. I will shank you up’.

“He put his hand in his jogging bottoms and pulled out a red object.

“He removed the plastic cover and unveiled a knife. The blade was four to five inches in length, the witness said.

“He then shouted ‘come on, come on then’. She described him as threatening and intimidating.”

“Shank you up” is slang for stabbing someone.

The court heard the witness then saw the man who was trying to help run at Charman, who then fled into The Level.

When police caught up with Charman, who fitted the description of the suspect, walking in Southover Street he was searched but no knife was found. He said to officers “I don’t carry knives” before being arrested and taken to Hollingbury custody centre.

The incident started at about 9am on June 9.

Former Longhill High School pupil Charman said in a written statement read in court: “I was in the Open Market with my girlfriend having an argument and a man was watching us and he approached in an aggressive manner.

“He had an advertising board in his hand so I threw my drink to defend myself. He chased me and was being very aggressive.”

One charge of common assault was dismissed after a witness failed to turn up.

Charman’s previous convictions include assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage, assaulting a police constable, possession of cannabis and resisting a constable.

Anne Rumble, chairwoman of the bench, said: “This matter is so serious I am not able to deal with it in this court, so I am sending you to the crown court to be sentenced.”

He will reappear at Lewes Crown Court for sentencing on October 9.