A SERVING prisoner became irate and raised two middle fingers to magistrates after they gave him a new jail term.

Lee Frederick Beard appeared via videolink at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday, June 21, where he admitted assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage at a police station.

Two additional charges of failing to surrender were withdrawn because Beard, 47, was already in jail when he had been scheduled to appear at Welshpool earlier in June.

Beard was jailed on June 13 for breaching a domestic violence protection order by assaulting a woman in Welshpool the previous day – which explained his absence from court on June 14.

Prosecutor Helen Tench told the bench at last Tuesday’s hearing that the latest offence for which he faced sentence was assault and criminal damage at Newtown Police Station on May 15.

“Officers were tasked to conduct an interview with the defendant, who had been arrested the previous night,” said Ms Tench.

“He became aggressive and pushed a perspex screen onto the head of Detective Constable Clarke. It shattered on contact with his head; there were shards on the floor and the officer felt pain and discomfort, although there were no physical injuries.

“Fearing he would use one of the shards, the officer took hold of the defendant. The interview resumed after he calmed down but he then became aggressive again. Sergeant Livermore entered the room and the defendant was led away to calm down.

“When later interviewed, he admitted the offences. He said he was shocked when the screen fell forward.”

Acting for Beard, of Caradoc Crescent, Hanwood, Shrewsbury, Ryan Khaira said his client had admitted his guilt from the outset.

“It was reckless but he says he was irate due to being interviewed over false allegations,” said Mr Khaira.

“There was no further action taken by police (in relation to his original arrest).

“He mistook the strength of the screen. Police cannot say whether he pushed or punched it. He says he pushed it. This is supported by the fact he got irate when he was accused of punching it.

“He apologises to the officers. The custody sergeant said to him that he’d previously done the same thing. The concerned officer continued the interview and even offered the defendant a lift home after. He suffered no stress or anxiety.

“He has not been in trouble since 2017. He is in custody but that is for breaching a civil order.”

Beard, currently serving his sentence in Cardiff, was given an additional eight-week period of custody for the assault, which is to be served concurrently to the sentence he is already serving.

Beard, who had sat with his head bowed down throughout the hearing, became angry on hearing this and, when told the case had been concluded, stood up and raised both middle fingers before leaving the room.

Magistrates ordered no separate penalty for the criminal damage offence. He will have to pay a £128 surcharge upon his release.