A BADLY behaved customer has three months to save herself from jail for assaulting a pharmacist who refused to serve her.

Carla Louise Graham, 43, used to collect her methadone from a Boots store in York city centre, said Jake Chadwick, prosecuting.

She had behaved so badly in the store on a previous occasion, the staff there had arranged for her to collect her prescription from a different location.

But on May 2, she tried to get the heroin substitute from the in-store pharmacy, the prosecutor told York Magistrates Court.

When the pharmacist told her she had to go to a different place, Graham spat in her face.

Someone on a methadone prescription can only get the drug from one named pharmacy and has to be supervised while they take the drug in the store.

Graham, of the Changing Lives hostel in Walmgate, York, pleaded guilty to assault.

District judge Adrian Lower said she “richly deserved to go to custody”.

But after hearing a probation services report that Graham was working hard with Changing Lives rehabilitation agency and the probation service to reform herself, he deferred sentence for three months.

He said she had behaved in a disgusting way and the pharmacist had feared she may have been exposed to illness through the saliva that had landed on her face.

If she continued to reform herself, he would spare her a trip to prison.

“If this is just a flash in the pan or more importantly you go on to commit offences, I’m afraid you are going to go to prison.”

For her, Keith Whitehouse, said: “She felt she was being ordered about a little bit like an animal rather than like a human being.

It is not an excuse at all, she felt that was the catalyst (for the assault).”

Mrs Chadwick said Graham had been drunk when she had misbehaved previously in the chemists.

She had been abusive when she was told she would not be served on May.

Graham claimed to police she had not been told about the change of location to collect the methadone.