A PET shop owner bit his love rival during an attack in the street, York magistrates heard.

Martin Townend, prosecuting, said Jason Snaith met Lucy Faulkner when working at the Leaping Lizards reptile shop in Acomb, which she owns jointly with her husband, Andrew Mercer.

When Mercer saw his children walking hand in hand with Mr Snaith and Ms Faulkner outside Burger King at Clifton Moor, he jumped out of his car, punched Mr Snaith several times, banged his head against the car and bit him.

He left teeth marks in Mr Snaith’s neck and arm.

Steve Munro, for Mercer, said: “His emotions got the better of him. It became a blur. He cannot recall biting. Sadly, he let himself down on this occasion.”

Mercer, 39, of Juniper Close, New Earswick, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and was ordered to do 40 hours unpaid work, pay £250 compensation to Mr Snaith and pay £85 prosecution costs.

The court heard Mercer and Ms Faulkner were now divorcing. Mr Townend said on August 14 the married pair had a row at the shop that ended with the police warning them about their behaviour.

Mr Snaith, Ms Faulkner and her children then drove to Burger King to get some food and were walking towards the fast food outlet when Mercer drove past and saw them.

Mr Munro said Mercer regretted his actions, which were out of character. He felt he had let himself down. Mercer had never been in trouble with the police before. Mr Snaith still worked at Leaping Lizards, said Mr Munro.