A Sutton mum-of-three who was caught carrying an metal bar told a court it was for self-defence.
Michelle Homer, 38, of Brookfield Avenue, admitted possessing an offensive weapon in a public place when she appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Police found the bar in her car on Cooperative Street, Stanton Hill, on October 7, said Ruth Snodin, prosecuting.
“She works later shifts at a petrol station where there is no security,” said Melanie Hoffman, mitigating.
“She keeps it in her car should any problems arise. She has never had any need to use it and she accepts that she shouldn’t have had it.”
District Judge Andrew Mechin told her: “It is troubling that you were carrying this around in the first place.
“Carrying any weapon around for the purposes of self-defence is not acceptable.”
Greta Percival, of the probation service, said Homer explained she had kept the bar, which was part of a work bench, for the last three years.
“She was aware it was an offence to carry a weapon, but didn’t know what she would have done if she had been confronted.”
Homer was given a 12-month community order with ten days of a rehabilitation activity and 80 hours of unpaid work.
She must also pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85.