A Good Samaritan who went to break up a street scuffle suffered serious injuries after he was pushed through a plate glass window in the centre of Honiton.
The victim left his flat to intervene after he saw a young man and woman arguing in the street outside but ended up being beaten up and pushed through the window.
Matthew Peters has been warned he faces jail for his part in the attack after appearing at Exeter Crown Court.
Peters, aged 22, of Phillips Square, Honiton, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and Cheryl Oswald, aged 21, of Potter Close Honiton admitted causing actual bodily harm.
Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, adjourned sentence for a special fact finding hearing after being told that Peters denied starting the violence and claimed he acted in excessive self defence.
Mr Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said the incident happened when victim Darren Moore looked out of his window and saw Peters manhandling a woman in the street outside.
He shouted for him to stop and then intervened but was attacked and suffered injuries after being pushed through a plate glass window.
He said:”Peters has offered a basis of plea. However the violence began he accepts that thereafter he used excessive and unlawful violence in the course of which Mr Moore collided with a shop window which broke and he suffered injuries.
“The main difference with the account of the victim is that Mr Moore alleges he went down to intervene in violence taking place whereas the defendant says there was a shouting match and Mr Moore initiated the violence.”
Mr Joss Ticehurst, defending Peters, said:”My client has said from the start there was an argument in the street but no fighting and Mr Moore came running out and he initially responded to what he considered to be aggressive behaviour.
“He says initially the response was justified but what resulted thereafter went over the top. He accepts that.”
The Judge said:”Mr Moore’s account is that he saw a disturbance and was worried about a woman being subjected to force.
“He says he saw a man grabbing a girl and throwing her around and that she was screaming. He tries to stop it from within and then goes out to try to stop Peters but is set upon and given a very severe beating.
“Peters is a man with a bad record for violence for someone of just 22. He has three previous convictions for assault and battery in circumstances which suggest he attacks innocent people.
“I shall order a hearing to resolve the issues in this case but warn Peters he must expect immediate custody.”