AN inmate’s “obnoxious” behaviour to a female prison officer led to the discovery of a makeshift sharp-pointed weapon in the waist band of his trousers, a court heard.

The finding of the spike-like implement came only two days after Arron Mark Graham was admitted to Durham Prison having received a 16-month sentence for making threats to a bar manager while in possession of a knife and a knuckle-duster, in April last year.

Durham Crown Court heard that Graham was one of three men seen in another inmate’s cell shortly before 9am.

He was refusing requests to leave the cell on landing one, so a female member of staff went to a colleague’s assistance.

When she also asked Graham to leave the cell, he replied: “Who the f*** are you talking to. Just shut the f***ing door and lock us in.”

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Graham took up an aggressive stance and said he he would not leave the cell.

She attempted to take him in a controlled hold to get him out of the cell, but he continued to resist and threw a cup in her direction, which she grabbed.

He refused to give her his details as she began to take him to the control office, where up to 30 inmates gathered to observe the ongoing incident.

Mr Baker said Graham told her he would only co-operate with a male officer, so she walked away, to “de-escalate the situation.”

The court was told it took up to four officers to subdue Graham and place him in handcuffs, but it was as he was brought back to his feet the 20cm-long sharp wooden implement was spotted in his waist band.

Prison officers believed it could have caused serious harm.

Although he faced internal discipline, Graham refused to be interviewed when the incident was referred to the police.

The 24-year-old defendant previously denied possessing a sharply-pointed object within a prison, but subsequently indicated in a letter to the court that he would admit the charge, on the basis that he was just handed the improvised weapon shortly before the incident took place.

But the sentencing hearing was told he has now abandoned that basis of plea.

Stephen Duffield, mitigating, said although Graham was in possession of the implement throughout the incident he never sought to use it.

Mr Duffield said Graham was released at the mid-point of his sentence and has been undergoing post-prison supervision on licence, having committed no further offences since.

Recorder Joanne Kidd described Graham’s behaviour that day as, “obnoxious”, adding that given the potential harm to prison discipline of such weapons being carried by inmates, she had to pass an immediate custodial sentence, of 14 months, as a deterrent.