A HOMELESS man labelled a berserk weirdo by his own lawyer bit a woman’s finger and made off with her handbag, a court heard.

Simon Parker, who appeared in the dock with a Mohican hairstyle, said he had no memory of attacking the grandmother. He compared the experience to featuring in a real-life video game.

Magistrates took a dim view of the 34-year-old’s actions, with chairman of the bench Alison Auvray describing the attack as “absolutely terrifying”. Parker admitted two counts of assault, theft and possession of cocaine and amphetamines. He was jailed for 36 weeks.

Prosecuting, Graham Dono said Parker had confronted two women as they walked home from a darts match at a Bradford-upon-Avon pub in the early hours of Friday, March 22.

The man, who is homeless, had been sleeping in a friend’s car. The women, one of whom is a grandmother, described Parker stumbling out of the vehicle and talking to himself.

Parker started following the friends along Polton, then began chasing one woman around a parked car for “no apparent reason”, Mr Dono said.

The man caught the woman, wrapping his legs around her body and, in the tussle, biting her finger. He bent the other woman’s fingers backwards as she tried to stop Parker from attacking her friend. The man took one of the women's handbags.

Police officers responding to a 999 call from one of the women found Parker nearby. He was described as either intoxicated or drugged.

The attacker was found with 2.7g of cocaine and 1.7g of amphetamines

Andrew Watts-Jones, defending, said his client was extremely remorseful: “There are some assaults on his record but they were a very long time ago - 10 or more years ago. He’s not into violence and particularly wants the court to know he is mortified it was violence towards girls.”

Parker had been sleeping rough since being released from prison earlier in the year. “He’s filthy and he stinks,” Mr Watts-Jones said. “He’s clearly been living under hedges and wherever he can.”

Prior to the attack, Parker had not slept for three days. He had only the vaguest recollection of the incident with the women, likening the experience to a video game. His solicitor called Parker a “berserk weirdo” and compared him to a zombie.

Magistrates gave Parker concurrent 18 week sentences for each of the assaults and the theft of the handbag. An 18 week suspended sentence order, previously made for theft matters, was also activated in full. He will serve three-quarters of his 36 week jail sentence before he is eligible for release.

Chairman of the bench Mrs Auvray said: “It must have been absolutely terrifying for the women involved, being chased at night by unknown male, being physically restrained by him and having their fingers bitten and bent back.”