A nurse accused of groping a colleague at mental health units in Ebbw Vale has appeared before a professional conduct committee.

Robert Andrew Phillips faces eight allegations of misconduct relating to a period when he worked for the Aneurin Bevan Health Board area. Mr Phillips is alleged to have acted inappropriately towards "colleague A" and is even accused of attempting to bite her neck on one occasion.

A hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council held in Cardiff today heard how the incidents are alleged to have taken place at Dan-y-Bryn Unit and Carn-y-Cefn Mental Health Acute Unit in Ebbw Vale, between 2009 and October 2010, and between October 2010 and February 2013 respectively.

The nurse allegedly gave his colleague a massage and touched her breast, before putting his hand down her trousers during a night shift at Dan-y-Bryn four years ago.

According to the allegations, he justified his actions by saying: "What's the matter? I thought you wanted it."

A few months later, he is alleged to have acted in an "inappropriate manner" towards the same colleague by rubbing himself against her.

He is alleged to have repeated the behaviour a few weeks later, while working at Carn-y-Cefn. According to the allegations, he also put his head into his colleague's lap and "nuzzled" her, as well as attempting to bite her on the neck.

Mr Phillips is also said to have sent a text message to the colleague, which read: "Happy birthday have to come over and give you a kiss X X X."

Two days later, when she called in sick, he allegedly asked if she wanted a massage before going to her house uninvited.

On unspecified dates between October 2010 and February 6, 2013, he is accused of calling her a "druggie", and other offensive terms.

The hearing was delayed today after the panel considered, and eventually approved, the complainant's application to give evidence via video link as she did not "want to be in the same room as [Mr Phillips]".

She will begin giving evidence tomorrow.

The hearing, which is a subsantive hearing of a conduct and competence committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, is expected to last until July 28.