Couts claimed compensation for 'nerve damage in his hand suffered while handcuffed'
Graham Coutts, who was jailed for life for the murder of classical musician Jane Longhurst in 2003, said on his blog last week that nerve damage to his right hand left him in "serious pain" and was affecting his performances at twice-weekly "band nights" in jail.
Coutts, who is in jail at HMP Wakefield – a maximum security jail dubbed Monster Mansion because of the number of murderers and high-risk sex offenders held there – said that the pain had got much worse in the past few years.
The 48-year-old, who is originally from Fife in Scotland, claims to have suffered the damage when he was handcuffed during a hospital stay after suffering a heart attack in prison in October 2013.
He says the nerve damage suffered while handcuffed as affected his guitar playing
I'm now being referred for a nerve conductivity test; finally. For a musician, this is even more of a concern
He lodged a £40,000 compensation bid against the Prison Service in 2015 for "distress" after claiming he was forced to change from his own clothes into a prison uniform as he suffered from severe chest pains.
And now, he is believed to be in talks with solicitors about upping his claim for the "nerve damage" to his right hand, which he claims occurred when he was handcuffed in hospital for six days during the hospital trip in 2013.
Writing on his blog in an entry posted on February 13, Coutts – who used to play in bands in the south east of England – said that for a musician to suffer nerve damage to their hand was "even more of a concern" than to non-musicians.
He wrote: "Since October 2013, when I was handcuffed for 6 days in hospital after my heart attack, I've had nerve problems affecting my right hand.
Coutts strangled Miss Longhurst using a pair of tights in 2003
"Recently, it has become more serious; pain in my shoulder, arm, wrist and hand, loss of sensation, and tingling.
"I'm now being referred for a nerve conductivity test; finally. For a musician, this is even more of a concern."
A nerve conduction test measures the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve in a bid to assess whether nerves have been damaged.
Coutts, in a previous blog post, said he "really misses gigging", but that he is allowed a guitar in his cell at HMP Wakefield and holds weekly 'band nights' at the jail.
He wrote: "I have my own guitar and keep my hand in with the weekly band night, and twice yearly concerts."
He used to keep Miss Longhurst's body in a 5ft-wide storage unit at the Big Yellow Storage Company
Coutts was jailed for life in 2004 after using a pair of tights to strangle 31-year-old classical musician Jane Longhurst at his home in Brighton, East Sussex, on March 14 2003.
The 48-year-old musician hid Miss Longhurst's body in a cardboard box in his garden shed for more than a week before moving it to a self-storage centre.
Lewes Crown Court heard at his trial in 2004 how he wanted to keep the body as a "trophy" and that he visited the 5ft-wide storage unit at the Big Yellow Storage Company in Brighton, 10 times in three weeks.
Coutts then moved her body and took it to woodland in West Sussex on April 19, where he set it on fire.
Coutts was arrested just days later after police found the body and searched the room he used to keep Miss Longhurst's body in a 5ft-wide storage unit at the Big Yellow Storage Company in Brighton, where he was caught on CCTV.
The killer was found guilty of murder at Lewes Crown Court in February 2004 and ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years in jail.
His conviction was quashed on appeal in July 2006, but he was again convicted after a re-trial at the Old Bailey in July 2007 – although he is still claiming innocence.
A spokesman for the Prison Service said it does not comment on individual prisoners, but said that it "robustly defended claims made against the Prison Service".