An optician employee feared for her safety when a customer lost his temper during a discussion about contact lenses.

Paul Jenkins, of Hill Street, Haverfordwest, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday, August 18.

Dennis Davies, prosecuting, said a member of staff was discussing options with Jenkins, 35, in a booth at a Haverfordwest opticians on July 17.

Jenkins stated he did not want glasses as they did not suit him, and insisted he wanted contact lenses.

Mr Davies said: “He became very angry. He started raising his voice and shouting.

“He mentioned he did not like women.

“She was very frightened of the change in his demeanour. He jumped up, blocked her path, raised his arms and clapped his hands in front of her. He seemed unhinged.

“She was trapped in the booth with him and he was encroaching on her personal space.”

Jenkins threw down a chair, and the woman feared he was going to hit her. Another member of staff appeared and asked Jenkins to leave.

Mr Davies added: “He kept shouting. He said he did not like women and blamed them for everything.”

The court heard that Jenkins had several previous convictions.

Jonathan Webb, defending, said: “He says he is sorry to the lady in question. He is extremely apologetic and remorseful.

“Alcohol might have played a small part. He does not describe himself as drunk, but it might have been a contributory factor.

“It was over contact lenses. He is extremely short-sighted and had not been able to get to an opticians for some time.

“He was distressed at being told that there were no contact lenses available.”

Mr Webb added: “He went completely over the top and he accepts that.

“He would not have intended to cause any harm, but he did lose his temper and he is sorry.”

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with a 20-day rehabilitation activity.

He was ordered to pay £260 in a fine, surcharge and costs.

The chairman of the bench said: “This was quite a nasty incident.”