A JUDGE wants to view an improvised weapon, used by an inmate to threaten a prison officer, before he passes sentence.

Lifer James Gilmore is said to have grabbed the officer and held an inhaler refill to his throat in the incident at Frankland Prison, Durham, on May 23 last year.

Durham Crown Court was told the officer was unable to see what was being held to his neck during the ordeal.

Gilmore appeared via video link from nearby Durham Prison for a plea hearing, without any representation.

The 59-year-old is serving a double life sentence for attempted murder and wounding with intent, with a minimum recommendation of 15-years behind bars, stemming from two shooting incidents in his native Liverpool, in June and July 2008.

He was found guilty of both following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, in April 2010.

Gilmore admitted a charge of attempted wounding with intent, arising from the Frankland incident, last year.

He said he would not undergo either probation or psychiatric assessment and asked Judge Christopher Prince to be sentenced immediately.

But the judge said he wanted to see the makeshift weapon, the inhaler part, used in the attack before he considers passing sentence.

Among Gilmore’s past offences is an attack on a guard, in which he held a blade to the officer’s throat, in an escape from a prison van.