A WOMAN who “went mad” while on lockdown conditions in prison has been jailed for assaulting a guard.
Chantelle Hayward, 29, punched and kicked out at the officer and was said to have gouged at his eyes during the assault in HMP Eastwood Park, near Bristol, last October. She was serving a sentence for ABH after she attacked a disabled man on Manchester Road.
From the dock at Swindon Crown Court on Friday, she accused the prison officer of bringing the case for the “compo”.
Earlier, the court was told that Hayward had been on the landing on her wing when she was asked to return to her cell.
Footage from one of the officers’ body-worn video cameras showed the men telling her “in” as the directed her towards the single cell.
Hayward accused the men of being racist and knocked the officer’s camera to the cell.
As he went to retrieve the device, she punched him to the head. She was restrained on the bed by the other officer and, as she lashed out with her feet, struck the first officer.
Prosecutor Susan Cavender said Hayward had lunged towards the man and tried to gouge at his eyes. The officer was left with bruising and scratches.
Ellen McAnaw, mitigating, said her client did not accept gouging the officer’s face and the kick was reckless rather than deliberate.
Hayward felt the officers had been heavy handed and had not explained to her why they were ordering her back to the cell.
Ms McAnaw said: “She felt she was being treated like a dog with them saying ‘in, in’.”
She had volunteered to clean the prison for her own sanity as she was “going mad” during pandemic conditions at the prison, Ms McAnaw said. She had no history of committing violent offences while in prison.
From the dock, the defendant accused her victim of lying and bringing the case for “a little bit of compo”. She said: “He’s a little boy and he wants a bit of money. I bet that’s what it comes to; a bit of compensation at the end of it.”
She told the court she had “a voice like everybody else” before being asked by the judge to be quiet so her barrister could present the mitigation.
Jailing Hayward for 16 weeks, Recorder Elisabeth Bussey-Jones said: “I accept that you would have found it extremely difficult in prison. In fact, all prisoners are finding it extremely difficult in prison and the court is given guidance on that by the authorities such as R v Manning, which [recognises] the fact you are spending so much time in a cell and that is undoubtedly causing great frustration.
“But nonetheless this was an officer who was essentially asking you to comply with rules they have to impose and because you were refusing to go back to your cell… you then lashed out at him in a fairly vicious attack that really is quite disturbing just to see.”
She added: “Those who are carrying out the duty of monitoring people in prison by virtue of their job as a prison officer deserve to be protected by the law and they deserve to be able to go about their business which, at the end of the day, is about keeping you safe and other people safe.”
Hayward, of Groundwell Road, Swindon, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to assaulting an emergency worker.
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