A prison officer won praise from a judge for trying to subdue an irate young inmate.

Susan Gill suffered a broken ankle in the incident at Deerbolt Young Offenders' Institution, in Barnard Castle, County Durham.

As a result of the injury she has been unable to return to work since the incident on March 24.

Durham Crown Court heard that it was sustained as she stepped in, with others, to attempt to restrain young inmate Steven Paul Walsh during a violent struggle.

The court heard that 19-year-old Walsh accepts Ms Gill suffered the fracture as a result of the fracas, but denied having any intention to cause her an injury.

Walsh, from Leeds, admitted a new charge of affray.

He was previously charg-ed with inflicting grievous bodily harm, but the prosecution is expected to leave that count on file when Walsh is sentenced for affray.

Judge Michael Cartlidge transferred the case to Leeds Crown Court, where Walsh is also to be sentenced for a burglary he has previously admitted committing in January.

Walsh was further remanded in custody pending the sentencing hearing at a date to be fixed, at Leeds.

Judge Cartlidge then called Ms Gill into court. She came to court expecting to give evidence had the originally scheduled trial proceeded on the wounding charge.

The judge told her: "I don't want to embarrass you, but I would like to thank you personally for all the work that you do.

"You made great efforts to calm the man down when he was basically out of control, and I am sorry to hear you were injured in doing so.

"When I see people in court they are always on their best behaviour.

"But, outside, I know that life doesn't run so smoothly."

Judge Cartlidge wished Ms Gill a speedy recovery and said he hoped she would be fit enough to return to work in the near future.