These are the fearsome-looking weapons found on axe-throwing enthusiast Mark Quinn as he walked through a car park in Abingdon.

However, this week jurors decided that Quinn – who was caught by police trying to hide the tomahawk behind his back - had a reasonable excuse to have the axe.

Mark Quinn, 46, was seen with the axe as he walked across a communal car park in Abingdon on December 29, 2018.

He told the police officers that he’d just been throwing the axe at a makeshift target in his friend’s back garden. He did not have keys to the back door so was walking round to get in through the front door.

Quinn was searched and also found to have a flick knife in his pocket. He later told police he found the weapon among the piles of rubbish where he discovered the discarded door he was using for target practice.

Although the jury at Oxford Crown Court acquitted him of possession of the axe without reasonable excuse, Quinn was found guilty of possession of the flick knife. By law, such knives are offensive weapons as their only purpose is to inflict harm on another person.

The car park off Southmoor Way, Abingdon Picture: GOOGLE

The defendant was not present at his trial, with Judge Michael Gledhill QC telling jurors after they delivered their verdicts that Quinn had skipped his bail in April and was wanted on warrant. “He’s gone to ground but he won’t have got very far, I don’t suppose,” he said.

Quinn, of Southmoor Way, Abingdon, had earlier admitted possession of amphetamines and Diazepam at an earlier hearing.

During the two-day trial, the court heard that police were called to Southmoor Way, Abingdon, on December 29, 2018. When the officers pulled into a communal car park they saw Quinn walking across the car park with an axe in his hand.

He told the officers: “It’s just my tomahawk. I was using it for target practice in my friend’s garden. I have no keys to get in.”

The flick knife and axe seized from Quinn Picture: CPS

Summarising the Crown’s case to the jury on Thursday morning, prosecutor Alexandra Bull said: “The excuse that he has come up with is not good enough.”

Quinn’s advocate, James Reilly, said his client’s explanation that he was using the axe for target practice amounted to a reasonable excuse for having the blade in public.

He said: “If he’d simply just forgotten that he had the knife and the axe that’s not good enough. He has to have it for a reason; the reason the defence says he has it is for target practice.”

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