A maximum security prisoner has been banned from reading magic books - in case he picks up escapology tips.
Shaun Tuley is imprisoned at Frankland jail
Prison authorities told convicted murderer Shaun Tuley he was not allowed to buy the conjuring guides on grounds of "operational security problems".
He told of the ban in a letter from his cell in HMP Frankland, County Durham, to prison newspaper Inside Time.
A spokesman for the Prison Service said: "The titles requested were not thought appropriate."
Tuley, who murdered a 20-year-old prostitute in September 2000, said he had been "refused permission on grounds of 'operational security problems' to purchase a selection of books on the subject of magic, sought in order to be able to pursue my hobby whilst serving a life sentence".
He asked other prisoners with a "like-minded passion for magic" to correspond with him.
Magic Circle spokesman David Beckley said: "I can't understand the Prison Service's attitude - unless this man has asked for books on escapology.
"Magicians do have skills which enable them to deceive but this is only in an environment which is controlled by the magician himself.
"The Prison Service should change their minds.
"Having something objective which he can focus his mind on could actually help him become a model prisoner. It's a great hobby."