An Otago inmate responsible for a string of violent outbursts against people in authority has struck again.

Daniel James Ballentyne, 30, previously pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and was yesterday jailed for 10 months when he appeared at the Dunedin District Court.

On September 18, he had appeared in court via audiovisual link from Otago Corrections Facility.

Afterwards, he was chaperoned by a 63-year-old Corrections officer with whom the defendant argued about recreation time.


When the man turned to get his jacket, Ballentyne charged.

He punched the victim several times in the chest as the officer tried to restrain him.

The pair fell to the floor where the defendant inflicted a flurry of blows to the man's head.

Eventually, other Corrections staff waded in and handcuffed Ballentyne.

Judge Kevin Phillips said the victim, who had 38 years' experience in the job, was "extremely fortunate" to come away with only cuts and bruises.

In a statement for the court the Corrections officer said the September incident was the first assault following which he had been forced to take time off work.

The man also faced a nervous wait for blood-test results, he wrote.

Before being cleared of contracting hepatitis, or any other infectious diseases, the victim had to be careful about contact he had with his wife, grandchildren and colleagues, the court heard.

Judge Phillips said there was a pattern to Ballentyne's confrontational conduct.

"You have ongoing issues with people in authority and you react violently to anyone who might have the temerity, as you see it, to tell you what to do and when to do it," he said.

Ballentyne was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in May 2016 for a raft of offences, which featured a similar attack on a prison guard.

The defendant was in Invercargill Prison at the time.

Shortly before lock-up he was observed mouthing something offensive at a Corrections officer.

The victim approached Ballentyne and ordered he return to his cell.

The inmate stood in the doorway but refused to fully enter.

When the officer confronted him, he grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him inside.

During the resulting struggle, Ballentyne bit the victim on the chest.

"The bite was through his shirt and T-shirt and left teeth marks and drew blood to his chest area," court documents noted.

At trial, the defendant argued he had been placed in a choker hold and that he was defending himself, but the jury disagreed.

He was convicted of assault with intent to injure.

Judge Phillips said yesterday Ballentyne also had a history of attacking police officers.