A PRISONER accused of attempting to kill a convicted sex offender has admitted carrying out the violent attack.

David Allan has pleaded guilty to wounding Emanuel Spitari but denies attempted murder.

The 39-year-old Frankland Prison inmate is due to stand trial on the more serious charge of attempted murder in the new year.

Teesside Crown Court heard Allan launched his attack on his fellow inmate on August 14 this year.

The defendant, who represented himself throughout the fractious hearing, appeared in court via videolink to the Durham Prison.

Allan told Judge Stephen Ashurst that he fully admitted hitting Mr Spitari from behind during the attack but maintained it was never his intention to kill his victim.

In an ill-tempered outburst from the defendant, he told the court he didn't regret the attack and was happy to plead not guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

When the defendant was asked to enter a plea to the charge of attempted murder, he refused, saying angrily "If you want to waste your time with a trial feel free but there is absolutely no point. I won't enter a plea."

Judge Ashurst said: "I will formally enter a plea of not guilty, you having told me earlier you admit what you did but you didn't intend to kill him.

"The next time I will kill someone though."

Allan was told that relevant documents would be provided to him in prison so that he can form the argument of his defence.

Mr Spitari, previously of Yarm, Thornaby and Darlington, was taken to hospital following an incident at Frankland Prison in County Durham.

The former Merchant Navy officer is serving a 23-year sentence for attacks on children. He was jailed aged 59 in January last year.

No details of Mr Spitari's injuries were disclosed during the hearing.

Judge Ashurst remanded the defendant in custody and adjourned the case until next February for a trial.