A shopper who was banned from a supermarket in Totnes has been ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to a security guard he attacked after being challenged.

James Green-Wanstall was drunk when he entered the Morrisons store, but he refused to leave and put the guard in a headlock before biting him as they struggled on the ground.

The security officer recognised Green-Wanstall as someone who had been barred from the shop and ordered him to leave after seeing him in the alcohol aisle. Green-Wanstall reacted violently and dragged him to the floor by his neck.

The attack had such a traumatic affect of the victim that he was unable to carry on working at the shop, Plymouth Crown Court was told. He wrote a personal impact statement saying he suffered severe stress as a result.

Tree surgeon Green-Wanstall was drunk when he was arrested. He told police he thought it was “funny” and that he “did not care”. He said he could not remember what happened because he had consumed four ciders and shared a bottle of vodka with friends.

Green-Wanstall, aged 47, formerly of Thorns Place, Dartington, but now living in a caravan near Torrington, admitted intentional strangulation, common assault and causing criminal damage during the incident in May.

He was jailed for nine months, suspended for 15 months, and ordered to abstain from alcohol for 120 days and pay £1,000 compensation by Judge Robert Linford.

He told him: “The security guard was doing his duty. You reacted with violence and put him in a headlock, effectively strangling him and, unforgivably, you bit him, breaking his skin."