A pharmacy staff member was bitten after a ‘desperate’ Cardigan man attempted to help himself to pain-killers.

Matthew Roberts, of High Street, Cardigan, appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Wednesday, February 5.

Roberts, 45, was due to stand trial after denying an assault charge, but changed his plea to guilty before the hearing.

Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones said Roberts entered Boots Pharmacy, Cardigan, at 3.30pm on April 22, while a staff member was in the store’s back room.

“She heard a noise coming from the front of the shop and saw the defendant standing behind the counter, where members of the public are not supposed to be.”

Roberts was recognised as being on a list of people not to be served Nurofen, due to a pain-killer addiction.

Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “It appears he was behind the counter trying to help himself to Nurofen tablets.”

A ‘pushing and shoving match’ took place between the pair when the store assistant grabbed Roberts’ arm and told him he should have entered that area.

Roberts then leant forwards and bit her upper arm.

Mr Vaughan Pritchard-Jones added: “He did not do it in a violent manner, he left faint teeth marks, but they faded before a picture could be taken.

“She summoned up all her strength and pushed him out of the store.”

Roberts was identified from CCTV footage.

Mr Pritchard-Jones added: “Clearly it’s not pleasant when someone bites you on the arm in the course of your work.”

Jonathan Webb, defending, said Roberts was not banned from the pharmacy, and had not intended to steal, but would not have been served Nurofen if he had requested it.

“He saw that the store was empty and went behind the counter. It was not with the intention of theft because he left a £10 note there.

“He would have left the money and walked out having taken a gamble there.

“There was a small tussle, resulting in Mr Roberts laying his teeth on her arm. There was no lasting injury.”

Mr Webb added that the incident was out of character for Roberts.

“This is a one-off. He was some-what desperate that day.”

Magistrates ordered Roberts to pay £477 in a fine, compensation, costs and a surcharge.

The chairman of the bench said: “This must have left her very shaken.”