A SENIOR prison officer charged with assaulting a prisoner has told a jury in Oxford Crown Court that he regrets asking colleagues to falsify records.

Michael Stooks, 43, of Tingewick, Buckinghamshire, denies two counts of assaulting Jamie Cassell, a serving prisoner who had to be moved after he smashed up his cell.

He has also denied conspiring with three other officers to pervert the course of justice over the incident, said to have taken place on February 4 last year.

Together with Martin Egerton, 25, of Lower Heyford; Mark Reed, 45, of Bicester; and Nicholas McGregor, 38, of Witney, he is alleged to have falsified paperwork to cover up the assaults.

Nigel Daley, prosecuting, said all four men put Reed’s name on their “use of force” forms and omitted the name of another guard, Stephen McCallum, who objected to what had happened.

Yesterday, Stooks gave evidence for the first time and told the jury he had never assaulted a prisoner – but admitted telling his co-accused colleagues to write Reed’s name.

He said: “It is something I now regret.

“Stephen McCallum wasn’t in the right place. I didn’t want to put him under any more duress than he appeared to be in already.

“He seemed quite tearful and upset. I didn’t want him to be put through any more.

“So I, regretfully now, asked the three chaps to change their paperwork.”

The four men deny all the charges. The trial continues.