Inmate twice spat in face of prison officer in ‘disgusting’ attack

HMP Wayland Prison. Picture: Ian Burt

HMP Wayland Prison. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A convicted robber twice spat in the face of a prison officer while she tried to restrain him at a Norfolk jail, a court has heard.

Jade Thomas Daffin, 33, was in the process of being restrained on the floor during an incident at HMP Wayland when a female prison officer came to help.

Norwich Crown Court heard she “took control of the head” of the defendant who “was at that time struggling”.

Jude Durr, prosecuting, said Daffin put his head back and spat at her.

Mr Durr said the officer was then spat at a second time, hitting her in the chin area.

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There was no victim impact statement but Mr Durr said she was a public servant and offences like spitting caused obvious concern, particularly at the moment with the coronavirus outbreak.

Daffin, who was previously at Wayland Prison but is now at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham, appeared at court on Thursday (November 19).

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The defendant, who has 21 previous convictions for 76 offences, including robbery for which is currently serving a sentence, pleaded guilty to assault on an emergency worker, a prison officer, at Wayland Prison on August 7 last year.

James Beck, mitigating, said for a serving prisoner to spit in the face of a prison officer was about as serious as it could be apart from causing really serious physical harm.

He said Daffin, who was serving a lengthy sentence, lacked the ability to think rationally.

The court heard the defendant’s plea was his strongest piece of mitigation.

Judge Stephen Holt imposed concurrent 26 week sentence on Daffin.

Referring to the current coronavirus pandemic, Judge Holt said spitting “was a disgusting thing to do at the best of times but these aren’t the best of times as you well know”.

Judge Holt said Daffin’s only real mitigation was his guilty plea to the offence adding that the offence had to be marked by a period of custody.

After being sentenced Daffin, who appeared via videolink from HMP Berwyn, said he wanted to say he was “extremely sorry for what I did”.

Daffin, who told the court that his father had died, added: “This is the only opportunity I can get to apologise”.

The defendant was told his apology would be passed on.

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