A GREENOCK prison inmate charged with possession of sharpened brush handle weapons whilst locked in his cell for 23 hours-a-day under Covid rules was suffering a psychotic episode, an expert report has concluded.

Jamie Cook, 45, was in fear of being attacked and thought prison officers had been taken hostage at the time, the sheriff court was told.

Prosecutors who received a psychiatric report commissioned by Cook's lawyer in May failed to act on it until this month.

He remains locked up on remand after the Crown won a continuation of the case for clarification of the contents of the report.

Defence solicitor Bob Mitchell said: "The Crown have not instructed their own psychiatrist.

"They said they wanted to clarify our report.

"But it could not be clearer that Mr Cook was actively psychotic at the time of the offence and that he has a defence.

"My submission is that there is absolutely no confusion here with what the report says."

Fiscal depute Mark Nicol argued that the fact that Cook was described as 'presenting with features of mental illness rather than having a mental disorder' required clarification.

It is alleged that Cook was armed with a sharpened toothbrush handle with metal attached to it and a sharpened paintbrush handle on September 28 last year.

Lawyer Mr Mitchell said: "This case began with this man making weapons in a cell.

"He tells prison officers he believed he was going to be attacked.

"He believed that prison officers had been taken hostage.

"It is clear from the start that something very strange was going on.

"At the time he was being held in his cell for 23 hours a day.

"He does have an appalling record, but that does not detract from where we are now."

Mr Mitchell argued against a continuation of the case.

He said: "I don't see any doubt as to what the psychiatrist says.

"Mr Cook did not have these problems until he was in custody.

"My submission is that it is not appropriate to continue holding this man.

"Being held for 23 hours a day in his cell could not have helped, and keeping him there is not appropriate."

Sheriff David Hall said: "To say the least, it is regrettable that the Crown did not get a report following the significant comments in the defence report."

He added: "Mr Cook's previous convictions are absolutely appalling and my view is that bail is not appropriate."

Sheriff Hall continued matters until September 7 for the Crown to obtain a report.