A convicted killer serving a life sentence for murder has appeared in court today charged with a brutal prison assault.

Terry Jason Nahi appeared from custody at Christchurch District Court this morning.

The 42-year-old was handcuffed in the dock and surrounded by seven police officers and Corrections staff.

Nahi is accused of wounding another man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on May 4.

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A duty solicitor appeared for him and said Legal Aid was being applied for.

Judge Gary MacAskill remanded Nahi in custody to June 13 for an appearance via audio visual link from prison.