A WOMAN inmate with a penchant for punching prison staff was yesterday sentenced to an extra six months behind bars for her latest attack.

Hosana Obom lashed out at a female officer as she was being led back to her cell after causing a disturbance in a workshop in the female wing at Durham Prison.

Durham Crown Court was told that Obom knocked her victim sideways and then continued to rain punches while the officer tried to protect herself, falling to the ground.

Geoff Taylor, prosecuting, said other officers came to her aid, and one suffered a blow to her mouth in the process, before Obom was restrained.

The injured officer was taken to hospital where she received five stitches to a 1.5cm laceration above her right eye, while also suffering numbness to the side of her face.

When interviewed, Obom said a fellow inmate had died and she was upset that she had not been informed that she need not perform her daily chores in the workshop.

The court was told that due to mental health problems, Obom was on a course of medication, but she did not always take the prescribed drugs dosage.

Obom's record was read to the court, revealing that she is serving a four-year term for robbery in her home city of Liverpool, while she also has three previous convictions for assaulting prison staff.

Christopher Dorman O'Gowan, mitigating, said that since the incident Obom had been transferred to nearby Low Newton Women's Prison, where she is conforming to her correct medication and is now the prisoner race relations representative.

Obom, 28, admitted a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge Richard Lowden said: "Sadly, you have these three previous convictions for assaulting prison officers while in custody, and you also have a history of not taking your drugs.

"Although you have shown you can be a good prisoner since your transfer, prison officers must know that if they are assaulted the prisoner responsible will be punished."

He imposed a six-month sentence to be served at the end of the present four-year term for robbery.