A prisoner serving life for a series of rapes has been awarded £12,000 after suing the Home Office over his treatment in jail.

David Stenning, 44, who was jailed in 1994, was barricaded in his cell and tied to a chair by attempted murderer John Purkiss, who wanted to be transferred from Wakefield prison.

After a five-hour stand-off, Purkiss slit Stenning's throat and stabbed him three times in the chest and back.

Yesterday, Stenning succeeded in his action against the Home Office, claiming that the prison had failed to prevent the attack by Purkiss, even though the authorities were aware of his previous behaviour, which had been violent.

Newcastle County Court heard how Purkiss, who boasted he wanted to kill all "nonces" - sex offenders - had snapped after principal prison officer Diane Bridgewater refused to allow him to go into voluntary segregation to "sort his head out" on December 27, 1996.

Both men were inmates in Wakefield Prison's B-wing, which contained 180 prisoners, including 50 who were serving time for "extremely serious sex offences".

The court heard that, during the ordeal. fellow inmates placed bets with each other on whether Stenning would survive the attack.

Purkiss, who had been in prison since 1984, was described as having a twisted mind, with a vicious history of violence.

After hearing how Purkiss, who was regarded as a manipulative individual" and a "loner without friends" had asked to be segregated, Judge Peter Bullock said: "Mrs Bridgewater should have realised there was something wrong."

The court heard how Purkiss had already threatened to "kill a con or screw" in a bid to be transferred from Wakefield, where he had been sent as an "experiment" to get him back into mainstream prison after spending time in hospitals.

As part of the experiment, he was not subject to such rigid discipline as his fellow inmates and was said to be wearing the staff down with his behaviour.

Purkiss had held the blade to another inmate's throat shortly before the attack on Stenning, but had not been disciplined for it, nor was there any record of the attack.

Judge Bullock said: "Failing to discipline Purkiss was a contributing feature to the event."

Prison authorities had already been warned there was a chance of such an event.

A letter to the prison governor from a psychiatrist said: "If you do not move him, I fear he may do something to force our hands."

Judge Bullock said: "In my view, this was not good management.

"Purkiss did make those requests that day to go to segregation.

"It may have been the area was full, but officers who have given evidence have said that would not be a problem.

"This would have been a truly horrifying experience for anybody.

"No blame lies with the claimant at all."