A PHARMACIST who went around Cardiff biting young boys’ legs was yesterday jailed for 18 months.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Zaid Sheikha, 26, who came to Wales to study for a masters degree and was living in Cardiff Bay, had no explanation for his bizarre behaviour.

But over a three-day period this summer he managed to convince three separate children – two aged 12 and the other 11 – that he was a doctor and needed to examine their legs.

“He told them he was a skin specialist and could tell if they might have eczema,” said prosecutor Hywel Hughes.

“The first two victims – friends, both 12 – were going fishing in Cardiff Bay when he approached them, telling them he was Spanish and a doctor and had recently arrived in Cardiff.

“At one point he was sitting on a rock chatting about fishing when he said he thought one of the boys might have eczema starting.

“The boy pulled up the leg of his tracksuit bottoms and Sheikha massaged his leg then bit it hard, although not breaking the skin.

“He then tried to pull at the waistband of the joggers to examine him there but the boy refused.”

Mr Hughes said Sheikha then grabbed the second boy and was trying to pull him towards bushes but his friend pulled him the other way and they ran away.

The court heard that two days later, on August 25, an 11-year-old visiting a science exhibition at the Wales Millenium Centre with his parents and a friend was approached by Sheikha in an experiments room.

“Again he told them he was a doctor, examined one boy’s leg, massaged it and bit it,” said Mr Hughes.

“They ran back to the adults and the police were called.”

The following day one of the boys agreed to travel around the Bay area with the police.

He spotted Sheikha sitting in a cafe and pointed him out to the officers.

Sheikha pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and causing actual bodily harm to each boy and in a letter to the court said he wanted to apologise to all three.

Mr Justice Field jailed him for 18 months and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

The judge told Sheikha: “You will carry the stigma of this with you.”

The court was told Sheikha, of Harrowby Street, Cardiff Bay would lose his place at Newport University and the money he had paid for his course.

He faces being deported back to Jordan on his release.