A PROLIFIC criminal is back behind bars after biting a security guard who detained him.

Robert Cole was seen stealing a student’s bicycle from a lock-up store in Gladstone Place in Brighton.

The 36-year-old also had a lookout for him while he took the frame of the bike.

He was stopped a month later in North Street, Brighton by city business ambassadors.

After looking shifty, he was detained on the ground, then he bit the bicep of Justin Borley.

At Lewes Crown Court it was revealed Cole has committed more than 180 previous theft and burglary offences.

The usual pattern is shoplifting, then either obstructing police or attacking them as they seek to arrest him.

He also admitted two offences of possessing cocaine and heroin at Medina Villas in Hove in May.

Cole was sent back to prison for a year for admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm, burglary and the drugs offences.

Christopher Prior, prosecuting, told the court Cole had stolen the bike in Gladstone Place on September 27 and was shown on CCTV footage. Then on October 8 he was stopped in Brighton city centre where he bit Mr Borley, piercing the skin on the security guard’s arm.

Cole, of Morley Street, Brighton, had only recently been released from serving a prison sentence for assaulting a police officer, the court heard.

Josie Sonnessa, defending, said Cole offered apologies for the way he has behaved.

“When he is sober and not in an affected state, it is not how he would behave,” she said. Her client had “long-standing” drug abuse problems she said.

Judge Marti Huseyin said: “The public needs to be protected from that sort of conduct for a while. You cannot simply commit dishonesty offences then go round and hit people or bite people. I understand it comes from drugs, and when you are not on drugs you behave rather better.

“But the fact is you had that choice. You have been stealing other people’s things and if necessary using violence against those trying to detain you.

“The public now has to have a rest from that for a while. In the long term, you are going to sort out this behaviour unless you have access to drugs rehabilitation of some form.

“That is what you have to concentrate on when you are released.”

The judge jailed him for a year in total.