AN HMP Bullingdon prisoner caught with a homemade 'shank' fashioned out of a toothbrush in his cell has been jailed.

At an earlier hearing it was claimed that the inmate only had the improvised weapon as a 'cry for help' after he had experienced threats while serving at the Oxfordshire establishment.

William Jardine had already admitted one count of having in his possession an offensive weapon while in prison.

The 34-year-old, who is now of HMP Pentonville in London, appeared via videolink to be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

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Outlining the offence prosecutors said that prison guards at the facility near Bicester went to Jardine's cell at about 8.15am on the morning of October 25 last year.

Jardine was found to have a makeshift weapon which he immediately surrendered to guards once he had been caught.

The implement he handed over was described as an 'improvised prison shank.'

The banned item was comprised of a toothbrush which had been welded to a razor blade.

He went on to admit the single offence and, through his defence barrister, said he had the blade as a 'cry for help.'

In mitigation at an earlier hearing his defence barrister Jane Brady said that her client had experienced 'serious threats' at the prison and had been subject to threats by Travellers while serving there.

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She added that her client - has who has 59 previous offences recorded against him - was committed to turning his life around.

She said that Jardine, who is a builder by profession, had experienced a period of being homeless and he had had an addiction to class A drugs.

Explaining the circumstances behind previous crimes relating to the possession of knives she said that Jardine had earlier carried blades for 'his own self-protection' as a result of sleeping on the streets.

The court also heard that Jardine had been diagnosed with 'borderline personality disorder' and he had now stayed clean of any class A drugs.

At an earlier hearing of the case a court judge had said that eight months in prison was a likely sentence that could be imposed on Jardine.

The case had been adjourned for one week to explore the possibility of securing accommodation for Jardine as part of his further rehabilitation.

Sentencing yesterday after previously adjourning the case, Judge Ian Pringle QC said that he would follow the original indication and the original prison term that had been suggested.

Jardine was jailed for a total of eight months and he was also ordered to pay a statutory victim surcharge.