A HIGH security prisoner denies making threats to kill the governor and decapitate a senior colleague and murder her family.

Thomas O'Rourke denies making the threats at HMP Long Lartin in South Littleton near Evesham at his trial at Worcester Crown Court.

The 42-year-old is accused of making threats to governor Claire Pearson on March 2 last year and 'governor grade' head of residents Maria Compton on March 31 and April 1 last year.

The threat to kill on April 1 also extended to members of Mrs Compton's family.

O'Rourke, deemed high risk, had been placed in the prison's segregation unit after he was recalled to prison. Mrs Pearson, governing governor at Long Lartin, first met O'Rourke in HMP Belmarsh where she had been acting governor. Mrs Compton also worked at Belmarsh on secondment as acting head of security.

At Belmarsh O'Rourke had become 'agitated' after coming into possession of a document describing his risk to children despite him having no convictions involving children.

O'Rourke says the document was 'doctored' to make it look like he had committed offences against his ex-wife, claiming senior prison staff conspired to keep him under their control, an allegation they deny.

Mrs Pearson said: "He was shouting that he was going to kill me, that I was various unpleasant names, that he wasn't going to be inside forever, that he would hunt me down. I was mindful he was due for release in 2019."

Graffiti on the cell wall which contained the names of members of prison staff were a continuation of the threats, the prosecution say. O'Rourke denies writing it.

Maria Compton said O'Rourke made 'threats of decapitation'. She told the jury: "He was shouting and threatening, saying he was going to chop my head off and attack my family." The trial continues.