CHILD killer Ian Huntley is back in jail this morning after being given hospital treatment for a slash wound to his throat.

The Soham murderer was attacked yesterday afternoon by a fellow prisoner in HMP Frankland, near Durham City.

The killer was taken to an unidentified hospital outside the prison for treatment, but his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

He was returned to the prison this morning.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said last night: “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.

His condition is not thought to be life-threatening.”

No information was available last night about how long Huntley would be in hospital or what type of weapon had been used in the attack, although reports suggested it was a home-made implement.

Huntley is serving a minimum of 40 years imprisonment for the killing of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. The ten-year-olds were murdered in August 2002 in their home town of Soham, Cambridgeshire.

It is not the first time Huntley has been attacked while in custody. In September 2005, while being held in Wakefield Prison, in West Yorkshire, another inmate threw boiling water over him while he was in the jail’s health care wing.

Huntley also made at least three suicide attempts during his time at Wakefield.

A spokeswoman from the Prison Reform Trust said: ‘‘The prison service has a duty to hold all prisoners safely and securely, regardless of offences committed or alleged, and no one should underestimate how hard this duty can be to meet in a system under pressure.’’ In January 2008, Huntley was transferred to top security Frankland, home to about 700 of the country’s most dangerous prisoners.

The attack comes only eight days after an inmate at the same jail stabbed prison staff with a broken vinegar bottle, leaving three injured, one seriously – an incident that is already the subject of a full inquiry by the Prisons Service.

Prison officer Craig Wylde lost the use of his left hand after being attacked by killer Kevan Thakrar on Saturday, March 13.

The incident, in which two other staff were also injured, led to a vote of no confidence in the prison governor by members of the Prison Officers Association (POA) and a protest in which officers briefly refused to unlock inmates’ cells.

The POA has also called for all glass to be banned from prisons and for staff to be issued with stab vests.

The Prisons Service has ordered Steve Tilley, governor of the high-security Full Sutton jail, near York, to conduct an inquiry into the attack.

Speaking before news of the attack on Huntley, Durham City MP Roberta Blackman- Woods welcomed the inquiry, saying she was very concerned about the safety of officers at Frankland. Dr Blackman- Woods also backed calls by the POA for glass to be removed from prisons.

Last night, Lee Wylde said his brother planned to sue his employers over the incident.

He said he had been working extra shifts to save money for his wedding to Kat Smith, planned for next year.

Speaking from his brother’s bedside at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, Mr Wylde said: “All his future plans are gone and this could easily have been prevented. He feels extremely let down by the Prisons Service.

“He’s sitting here contemplating what the rest of his life will be.

“He will never feel his wedding ring on his finger.

The Prisons Service has taken that away from him.”

Frankland has been the scene of a number of highprofile incidents of violence in recent years.

In 2007, al Qaida terrorist Dherin Barot, who planned to carry out a dirty bomb attack on the UK, was scarred for life after fellow prisoners poured a boiling liquid over him.

A similar-style revenge attack was carried out on armed robber Malcolm Cruddas by terrorist Omar Khyam.

Also that year, the cell of failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman was set on fire, and two men serving life for the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky were charged with stabbing another inmate.

In 2008, a fire in the cell of al Qaida terrorist Kamel Bourgass led to a disturbance in the prison and simmering tensions that led to a fourhour siege involving a number of Muslim inmates.