PRISONERS at Littlehey Prison destroyed a cell in a protest after their pool balls were confiscated.

James Matthews, 20, was sentenced on Thursday (January 19) as a "ringleader" in the protest at the Perry prison on November 21, 2010. He pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

Giles Beaumont, prosecuting, said: "Matthews was one of 10 people who locked themselves in a one-man prison cell for seven hours. When prison officers had extracted the 10 men from the cell they found that all the furniture had been destroyed, the cell window was damaged and there was writing on the wall.

"Matthews was one of the ringleaders and in the dispute over the wing's pool table, was seen trying to round up some people to protest."

Mr Krieger, mitigating, said the defendant had left school at 11 but said that Matthews, who is studying maths and English in prison, wants to go to catering college when he leaves prison next year.

Magistrates in Huntingdon gave him a nine week sentence to run alongside his current imprisonment.Another prisoner, Michael Flanagan, 21, was given an eight week sentence for writing his name on the walls of the cell. Flanagan also pleaded guilty to criminal damage. He was due for release on February 24 but could be detained for longer freed later after the recent sentence.

One prisoner is yet to stand trial for his part in the protest, the other seven have already received sentences.