Convicted serial killer Paul Bernardo appeared in court Friday, to face a new charge of possessing a homemade weapon for the purpose of committing an offence.

Bernardo was allegedly found in possession of a homemade shank composed of a screw and a pen on Feb. 9, 2018.

Bernardo, 53, appeared in Napanee Superior Court Friday via video link from Millhaven Institution maximum security prison.

He was seen wearing a blue T-shirt for the 10-minute video appearance. As he was waiting for court proceedings to begin, he was seen smiling and laughing with someone off-camera, presumably a prison guard, reports CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry.

Bernardo’s lawyer requested more disclosure and the matter was put over until May 18.

Bernardo was convicted in the kidnapping, tortures and murders of 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy, and 15-year-old Kristen French.

He was designated a dangerous offender and sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. He has been serving his sentence segregated from other inmates.

Tim Danson, the lawyer who represented the French and Mahaffy families during the original trial, said Bernardo’s chances of receiving parole are already slim, but a conviction on this new charge would greatly reduce those odds.

“My view is ... the chances of Paul Bernardo ever seeing freedom is somewhere between zero and nil,” he told reporters on Friday.

“That’s what I feel in my gut,” he added. “But only because I’m confident that we will put forward a very effective response ... I don’t think the public should panic.”

Danson said that parole boards consider whether there are “any signs of rehabilitation and remorse.”

“He is not capable of remorse,” Danson said. “He will never be capable of remorse.”

“Paul Bernardo will come out one day, but it will be in a pine box.”

Bernardo became eligible for day parole last year and is scheduled for a hearing in October. Danson says Bernardo has postponed the hearing several times and each time the families are forced to relive the murders as they prepare.

“The whole process has been extremely difficult for the families,” Danson said.

During the hearing, Danson plans to argue that the Parole Board of Canada must come up with a decision on Bernardo’s dangerous offender designation before deciding his parole eligibility.

Bernardo’s co-accused, Karla Homolka, was convicted of manslaughter in Mahaffy’s and French’s deaths and served 12 years before being released in 2005.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry