A Dundee murderer armed himself with a makeshift knife, cornered a prison officer to stab him but told the terrified warden it was “nothing personal”.
John Styles, 23, told his intended victim he should take “no offence” at being stabbed as he had not been specifically singled out.
Styles – serving life in Perth Prison for battering and knifing an artist so severely that he could only be identified by his DNA – had a further 18 months added to his sentence.
Dundee Sheriff Court was told that Styles, pictured, had sharpened a toothbrush into a pointed weapon before telling prison officer Jimmy Napier he was to be stabbed.
Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson said: “James Napier was in the prison laundry room supervising the accused and six others who were working within.
“The others left, leaving the accused and Mr Napier. The accused walked towards Mr Napier holding a homemade weapon. He said he had bought it.
“Mr Napier told the accused to put it in the bin.”
She said Styles replied: “No, I’m going to stab you with it.”
An alarm call was sent by Mr Napier and other officers rushed to the laundry where they found him cornered by Styles brandishing the weapon.
“He was repeatedly asked to drop it and eventually did so, but only after several minutes’ negotiation.
He was restrained and asked what he was going to do with it,” Miss Robertson said.
Styles, from Dundee, told them: “It’s obvious isn’t it? I was going to stab Jimmy. It was nothing personal and no offence. If Jimmy had not been there it would have been you, Rab.”
The prosecutor said Mr Napier was seen to be “extremely shaken” after the incident on September 4 last year.
Styles admitted having a weapon and brandishing it in a threatening and abusive manner by stating he would stab Mr Napier.
He admitted having another weapon – a padlock inside a sock – when his cell was raided on February 18 this year.
Solicitor David Duncan, defending, said: “He recognises these are serious matters, particularly in context of the location in which they took place.
“He was, and remains, in the early stages of a lengthy sentence and is clearly still adjusting to that position.”
He said Styles had requested prison help for his mental health but felt that he was being snubbed – so decided to lash out randomly at a staff member.
“What he was doing was seeing if he could make an episode, a crisis point, to see if the prison authorities would listen to him,” said Mr Duncan.
In 2018, Styles was jailed for life with a minimum recommended punishment period of 15 years, for the brutal killing of artist Jeroen Van Neijhof, 38.
He stabbed his victim 19 times after flying into a rage when he could not find any more drugs.