A GWENT man launched a "completely unprovoked" attack on a prison officer and "yanked and tugged" her hair from her scalp.

Christopher Hancock carried out the "horrendous" assault on the female staff member, who felt "completely powerless" as he "ripped my hair from my head".

The 36-year-old defendant appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced for assaulting two emergency workers and for drugs offences.

Hancock, whose address was given to the court as Underhill Crescent, Abergavenny, attacked one female prison officer while she was "carrying out [her] duties" in December 2020, prosecutor Nuhu Gobir said.

In a statement Mr Gobir read to the court, the victim said the assault "went on for what felt like forever".

"My hair was my pride and joy," she said, adding she had become "far more introverted" since the attack.

"I now have to deal with this on a daily basis and possibly for years to come," she added.

The victim of Hancock's other assault - also a female prison worker - was attacked in an incident involving a "kettle and boiling water", and the defendant "intended to maximise fear" he caused her, the court was told.

The victim of that attack said she has since become "extremely jumpy" when opening cell doors, and the incident had "taken a heavy toll on me".

Hancock was also sentenced for two charges of possession of Class-B drugs, specifically 1.95 grams of cannabis and 2.6 grams of amphetamine.

Ieuan Rees, defending, said his client had been in custody since last September and had served "effectively the equivalent of a one-year sentence".

Mr Rees noted the "extremely unpleasant" assaults and said he "in no way seek[s] to minimise what Mr Hancock has done".

The judge, Catherine Richards, sentenced Hancock to eight months in prison for each of the two assaults, with the sentences to run consecutively - making a total prison term of 16 months.

She imposed no separate penalty for the two drugs convictions but ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the cannabis and amphetamine.