A MAN has admitted threatening a woman with a knife in a supermarket car park but denied trying to kidnap her and her one-year-old son.

Neil Diaz is accused of the attempted abduction at Asda in Turner Rise, Colchester, in September.

The 57-year-old was due to enter pleas to the charges last month, but it was delayed for a report to decide if he was fit to stand trial.

Experts have now decided Diaz is well enough.

He denied two counts of attempted kidnap relating to the woman and the toddler at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

Diaz also denied possession of an article with a blade or point - namely a kitchen knife - and possession of two hammers deemed to be offensive weapons which were found in the boot of his car.

However, he did admit threatening the woman with a knife.

Barry Gilbert, representing Diaz, said he would be willing to admit charges of attempted false imprisonment as an alternative to the attempted kidnap charges.

But Nicola May, prosecuting, said those pleas were not acceptable to the crown.

A trial now been scheduled for February but Diaz’s plea indications will now be kept under review.

The trial is expected to last between two and three days.

Diaz is said to have held the knife to the woman’s stomach in the incident, which unfolded in the supermarket car park in broad daylight, and ordered her to get into his car.

He is alleged to have chosen the victim entirely at random and the woman happened to be with her young son at the time.

Police arrested Diaz in Marks Tey within hours of the incident.

Diaz, of Roosevelt Way, Colchester, spoke only to confirm his name and to confirm he understood proceedings during the short hearing.

Judge David Pugh said: “This trial is listed for February 3 2020.

“I am remanding you in custody until then.

“At the trial you will have the right to give evidence but if you fail to attend then it will likely go ahead in your absence.

“You must ensure your defence case statement is sufficiently detailed and if you do not then it may count against you in the trial process.”