A JUDGE is demanding answers after a prisoner was able to smuggle a blade into a courthouse and injure himself ahead of a hearing.

An investigation has been launched after Judge Samantha Leigh was forced to postpone a hearing because the prisoner had attempted to cut his wrists in the court’s cells despite having been transferred from prison where he is being held on remand.

Ryan Tudor, 27, of Kilworth Avenue, Southend, was due in court to answer charges following a stabbing and a robbery in Southend.

He had been transported from HMP Chelmsford by prison staff on Monday morning ahead of his court appearance.

But the hearing had to be postponed after the court was informed Tudor had suffered superficial cuts to his wrist and face which were self-inflicted.

After receiving treatment from court staff, Tudor appeared in the dock with bandages on his wrists which were visibly bloody.

Addressing the court, Judge Leigh said: “Can I ask how this happened? I want a report into how this happened. There is a responsibility to search.”

His defence barrister confirmed Tudor had a blade on him and suggested a psychiatric report be carried out.

The type of blade is unknown.

Judge Leigh told the court she was unhappy to take a plea from Tudor in light of the incident and postponed the hearing until March 21.

A spokesman for the prison service told the Echo Tudor was searched but that the prison service would work with the courts to provide an explanation to Judge Leigh about how the blade was smuggled in.

The spokesman said: “Usual protocol was followed and the prisoner was fully searched before leaving the prison. We are reviewing the incident and will take appropriate action.”

It is understood a full search involves being strip-searched and inspected with a metal detector prior to leaving the prison. Tudor did not require hospital treatment.

The 27-year-old is due to stand trial charged with causing actual bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon and wounding with intent after a 19-year-old man was stabbed in the head in London Road, Southend, last September 24.

He has previously denied all the charges. Tudor was due to enter a plea for one count of robbery which allegedly took place on September 19.