A prison inmate today admitted a serious assault on a fellow inmate at Hawke's Bay Prison despite having previously pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Joseph Sam Samoa, 40, reversed his plea in a unique sitting of the High Court at Napier, with links audio visually from four sites - including Samoa and alleged co-offender Paka Junior Leota, 33, in separate jails and Justice Simon France sitting in Wellington.

Leota maintains his plea of not guilty to the charge of wounding inmate Jason James Poi in Hawke's Bay Prison on March 21 last year with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

In July last year a Parole Board granted Poi release on compassionate grounds because of the seriousness of his injuries, expected to require life-long care and treatment.


Samoa was today remanded for sentence in the High Court at Auckland on August 5 while Leota remains in custody awaiting trial.