herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Hated child-killer cheats death in prison stabbing

Blood: Child-murderer had throat slashed by another prisoner

Soham murderer Ian Huntley was back in prison today after an attack by a fellow prisoner left him needing hospital treatment.

The 36-year-old's throat was slashed during a vicious assault in Frankland Prison, Co Durham, where he is serving two life sentences for murdering schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

The UK Prison Service has not said what Huntley's current state is in the jail, but said after the attack that his condition was not life-threatening.

A spokesman said: "A prisoner at HMP Frankland was assaulted by another prisoner at about 3.25pm on Sunday, March 21. The prisoner was taken to an outside hospital for treatment but has now returned to prison."

Prison officials have launched an investigation. It has been reported that Huntley's throat was slashed with a makeshift knife, and the child killer was found by prison staff lying in a pool of blood.



VANISHED

He was convicted of murdering Holly and Jessica, who were both 10, in December 2003 after they vanished from their homes in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in August 2002. Huntley, a caretaker at the secondary school in Soham, and his then girlfriend Maxine Carr, a teaching assistant in Holly and Jessica's junior school class, initially told police they knew nothing of the circumstances surrounding the girls' disappearance.

But it emerged at their trial at the Old Bailey that Huntley had met Holly and Jessica as they walked past his home, enticed them inside and killed them before hiding their remains.

Huntley was given two life terms. Carr was jailed after being convicted of perverting the course of justice and has now been released from prison.

Yesterday's assault is not the first time Huntley has been attacked in prison.

An inmate threw boiling water on him while he was on the healthcare wing at the high-security Wakefield Prison in west Yorkshire in September 2005. He has also tried to commit suicide while in prison on three occasions.

He was moved to HMP Frankland, a Category A high security men's prison, in 2008. That year, HM Inspectorate of Prisons raised concerns about violence at the jail.

Colin Moses, from the Prison Officers' Association, said prison safety was an issue that had to be addressed. He told the BBC: "We have more violent prisons than we've ever had before. We want to see action taken to safeguard staff, safeguard inmates and safeguard the public."

hnews@herald.ie

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