A FORMER Powys firefighter has been jailed for a year after attacking police officers and attempting to grab their Taser stun gun.

Barrie Thomas Wilks – who now goes by the first name Mallory and identifies as non-binary – was jailed at Swansea Crown Court last week for the April incident, which left one Dyfed Powys Police officer suffering a serious leg injury.

The attack, which happened in Penegoes, near Machynlleth, on April 3, was committed just weeks after Wilks, 35, had been handed a two-year community order and fined £1,000 by Welshpool magistrates for assaulting two emergency workers during two separate incidents last year.

Wilks, of Craig yr Henffordd, Machynlleth, had previously pleaded guilty to common assault of an emergency worker and to battery of an emergency worker.

The incident occurred on the morning of April 3 when officers went to an address in Penegoes looking for Wilks in connection with other matters after receiving information he was living in a caravan in the village.

The defendant, who has previously been asked to be referred to as “they” in court, was not in the caravan but officers were told to look in a shed at a neighbouring property.

A protracted 25-minute struggle followed which saw Wilks repeatedly lashing out, kicking and trying to bite the officers. At one point the defendant pulled a Pava incapacitant spray canister from the belt of one of them and made a grab for a Taser.

Backup eventually arrived and the defendant was subdued and placed in handcuffs and leg restraints.

In previous incidents that occurred in 2020, Wilks had stolen keyrings from Newtown Fire Station and threatened one firefighter with a large wooden pole which had been thrown at him, on October 22. Wilks had accused the firefighters of homophobia and was arrested at the same location on November 2, when police arrived to find them holding a banner with 'homophobic hate crime' written in paint. Wilks said they had been staging a silent protest.

In Aberystwyth on November 9, Wilks then violently resisted arrest by kicking and biting two police officers – for which the original two-year community order was issued.

Judge Geraint Walters, sitting at Swansea last Friday, urged Wilks to get help to tackle underlying mental health issues.

The judge sentenced Wilks to four months in prison for each of the two assaults on the PCs. He also revoked the community order imposed by Welshpool Magistrates Court on February 23 and resentenced Wilks to a total of four months in prison for those matters to run consecutively with the new sentence, making an overall custodial sentence of 12 months.

Wilks must also pay a surcharge of £156 upon release from custody.