A man has been warned he may go to prison for punching an eight-year-old trick-or-treater in the face.
Christopher Eslick, 61, told police he was so fed up with Halloween callers at his Plymouth home that he lashed out at the boy who was wearing a horror mask.
The boy was one of a number who called at his door even though he had put up a poster warning children not to.
Eslick pleaded guilty to common assault and the case was adjourned by Plymouth magistrates for reports.
Magistrates warned Eslick, of Charlotte Street, they were considering a jail sentence.
The boy was left shocked and with a cut lip.
City magistrates heard the attack was witnessed by police community support officers who were on duty in Morice Town to make sure trick-or-treaters did not cause trouble.
Miss Jenny Cater, prosecuting, said Eslick shouted and swore at the boy before hitting him in the face with his clenched fist.
"Officers noted there was a notice saying 'no trick-or-treat' on the defendant's window but callers would not have been able to see it clearly because it was behind the window glass and poorly lit," she said.
Eslick, who represented himself, said the notice was issued by the police and was easy to see and read.
"I feel there was an element of provocation but it is no excuse and I am distressed that I let my temper slip in this way," he said.