A ‘VIOLENT’ prisoner accused of wounding prison officers with improvised weapons told a jury he had been “set up” and was “protecting himself” as he feared for his life.

Daniel Matthews denies the assaults on eight prison officers at HMP Long Lartin near Evesham and HMP Bristol that allegedly took place on February 23 last year, and January 10 this year respectively.

Taking to the stand the 28-year-old said he was a man of good character and truth, and denied planning the attacks on officers, despite accepting he had made the weapons - a shiv and metal spike - used in the incidents.

Explaining his actions during the HMP Long Lartin incident Matthews said he was frustrated and displeased as he had been expected to be released from a segregation unit, but due to an incident with another prisoner, not involving him, he was forced to stay longer.

“My time there was up,” he said.

“It was unjustified.”

READ MORE: 'Violent' Long Lartin prisoner accused of attacking eight prison officers with weapons

Matthews said there had been a "small confrontation" and punches were thrown from both sides.

“I feared for my life, I had the right to defend it,” he said.

Matthews then said the officers had acted unprofessionally and attacked him “showing their true colours.”

But in cross examination it was put to him by Tom Kenning, prosecuting, that they were simply doing their job.

“There are prison officers who are rapists and murderers,” Matthews said.

“They are murderers, is that really what you are saying?” Mr Banks asked.

“When they are grabbing you, you have a right to defend yourself,” Matthews answered.

On the HMP Bristol alleged attack Mr Banks put to Matthews he thought about violence and planned it, proved by the fact he made the weapon.

“No - a vicious assault leading to them being injured? That was not my intention,” Matthews replied.

It was then put to him he said on the morning of the Bristol incident he would go on a “killing spree”.

“No, that would not make sense, for what reason would I?” Matthews replied.

He added it had been made up and was set up, after the Long Lartin incident.

Throughout cross examination Matthews previous convictions were read out to him, which included assaults on police officers.

But defence barrister, Timothy Banks, through questioning of Matthews, highlighted that in the past Matthews had been prepared to admit offences when he was guilty, and had also been found not guilty by juries in the past.

In the afternoon the prosecution and defence gave their closing statements.

Judge James Burbidge then began summing up the case, which will continue today, before the jury retires to consider its verdict.