A VIOLENT thug with an ‘uncontrollable temper’ went berserk in prison as he was sentenced for spitting at police, threatening security with a screwdriver and throwing water over a nurse.
Daniel Varndell, 28, of no fixed address, was handed an 18-month jail sentence after admitting nine assaults and seven other linked offences at Portsmouth Crown Court.
But as a judge handed down the sentence furious Varndell, who taking part in the hearing from a video conferencing room at HMP Winchester, flipped the table in front of him and rushed toward the camera just as the link was cut.
Varndell, who has 18 convictions for 56 offences, had already been repeatedly warned by judge William Ashworth to stop interrupting prosecutor Anthony Bailey as the lawyer outlined the 16 charges against him.
They involved assaulting a three officers, a PCSO, an investigator, a nurse at Portsmouth Central police station and security officers at Gunwharf Quays.
Sentencing, judge William Ashworth said: ‘This is unfortunately a repetition of a pattern of previous offending where you are detained and your temper is uncontrollable and you lash out at people simply trying to detain you.’
In sentencing, judge Ashworth said he could not detail all of Varndell’s past crimes because of ‘the time available in the hearing’.
Varndell admitted assault by beating, four common assaults, having an offensive weapon, two charges of criminal damage, three assaults on a constable, assaulting a PCSO, using threatening words or behaviour, failing to answer bail and two breaches of supervision requirements.
Mr Bailey told how Varndell launched his first slew of assaults at police officers who responded to a domestic incident in Kingston Road. ‘During the course of his arrest he became aggressive, he became violent, he became confrontational with the police officers,’ the experienced barrister said.
Varndell had been bracing himself making it difficult for officers to put him in the back of a van, with one officer injuring her hand and arm as he did.
The defendant told cops: ‘She fell over... that was their own fault.’
During the same incident he kicked the van cage door, catching a PC’s hand on July 28 last year.
When he was finally in custody at Portsmouth Central police station he spat at a PCSO from his cell and swore at him. He also launched a tirade of ‘disgraceful’ abuse at another PC.
Mr Bailey told how on October 4 Varndell had been detained by security at Gunwharf Quays when his friend Jimmy Andrews had been suspected of shoplifting at HMV.
He resisted outside the Hackett store, falling over with the security staff into the store - kneeing one in the right eye before grabbing a screwdriver off the ground.
Mr Bailey said: ‘Varndell armed himself with the screwdriver, made a stabbing motion, held the screwdriver in the right hand towards the face of a security officer. Fortunately (he) was able to move away.’
Varndell switched hands with the screwdriver and continued to make as if to stab him in the eye before another security guard stepped in and disarmed him.
Police arrived and arrested him - taking him into custody where he threw water over a nurse who refused to give him the amount of medication he wanted on October 5. The water also hit a police staff investigator.
The defendant kicked out at a wall before turning his attention to a door - splintering a security panel.
Thuggish Varndell had also smashed a bike into a door window seven times at Hope House in Milton Road at 5.30am after staff refused to let him return. He left but returned and launched a glass bottle at the window.
Alex Naylor, mitigating, said: ‘Mr Varndell’s problem is he suffers from mental health, he has been under the mental health team for a number of years and unfortunately there was a falling out or disagreement at some point and during this period was not being treated.’
No charges were brought over the domestic incident. The court heard Varndell had called police.