When passers-by tried to intervene in a man’s public argument with his girlfriend, he whipped off his belt and started to swing it at them, a court heard.
The furious man, Jason Dowding, of Bulwell, caught one of the people with his belt and also shouted abuse.
After police had studied CCTV footage of the incident, he was subsequently arrested and hauled before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.
Dowding, 27, of St Albans Road, pleaded guilty to assaulting an unknown person and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with the intention of causing a group of unknown people to believe unlawful violence would be used against them.
David Swingler, prosecuting, said the furore happened on King Street in Nottingham city centre on Saturday, March 19.
He said that two particular people followed Dowding and his girlfriend when the initial argument broke out. He accepted that “some passers-by didn’t even flinch” when Dowding brandished his belt. But Deputy District Judge Richard Marshall pointed out that “the use of a weapon was an aggravating feature in the case”.
Mr Marshall agreed to a request from Dowding’s solicitor, Vicky Clayton, mitigating, to rush the case through because the defendant had a family funeral to go to that morning after the death of an uncle.
Miss Clayton made no further comments on behalf of Dowding, except to say that he was on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
After reading a pre-sentence report prepared by probation officers, the deputy district judge said he was satisfied to follow its recommendation with regard to sentence.
He imposed a 12-month community order on Dowding and ordered him to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.