A top-security prisoner blew his chances of early parole by threatening to kill a guard and his family.

Keith Pringle, 33, was jailed for 15 years in 1992 after holding his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint in her Darlington home for 48 hours.

The seige was only brought to an end when a police marksman was brought in who shot Pringle.

After serving more than 10 years of the lengthy sentence Pringle, of Thirlmere Road, Darlington, could have been back out on the streets later this year.

But flanked by eight prison officers in the top security dock of Newcastle Crown Court last month, Pringle pleaded guilty to making threats to kill Frankland guard Paul Sirrell as well as his wife and children.

Mr Sirrell had been one of five officers who entered Pringle's cell during a dirty protest on September 10 last year when the threat was made.

He was jailed today for three years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Judge Guy Whitburn said he complimented Pringle for entering his guilty plea, meaning the six week trial date booked for later this year could be scrapped.

Defence barrister Jamie Adams told the court: "He is looking to get out as quickly as he can."