A London man has denied stabbing a serviceman in the arm during an incident in a McDonald’s car park in Barnstaple.

JJ Simpson admitted causing criminal damage to a wall and a door at McDonalds in Old Station Road and possessing a Stanley type knife but denied two assaults.

Police appealed for information from the public after being called to the incident at the restaurant at 2.15am on October 6 last year.

A soldier in his 40s, from Hampshire, allegedly suffered a wound to his arm and a 20-year-old local man sustained a less serious cut.

Simpson, aged 26, of St Mary Road, Walthamstow, denied wounding soldier Shane Grinyer with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He also denied causing actual bodily harm to Jeven Eriksen in the same incident on October 6, 2019. He admitted having an article with a blade or point and criminal damage.

Simpson appeared at Exeter Crown Court from the back garden of his home in London under special Covid protection measures.

He used his mobile phone to dial into the court’s remote video conference platform and appear before a Judge from his garden 175 miles away in East London.

Judge Peter Johnson complained that all he could see was the skyline when Simpson put the phone to his ear to listen to the proceedings.

Judge Johnson set a date of July 5, 2021 and released Simpson on bail with a condition not to enter Barnstaple.