Roy Whiting, the paedophile jailed for the murder of the schoolgirl Sarah Payne, has been stabbed by a fellow inmate in prison.
Whiting, 43, is believed to have suffered facial injuries in the attack, on Sunday night at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire.
He was taken to nearby Pinderfields Hospital, where he was guarded by prison officers while receiving treatment. He was discharged a few hours later and was thought to have been returned to his cell in Wakefield Prison last night.
Prison sources said that a home-made knife was used in the attack. His alleged attacker was removed to the jail's segregation wing after the incident.
"A prisoner from Wakefield was taken to hospital last night [Sunday] following an alleged assault," a spokeswoman for the Prison Service said. "The incident has been referred to the police. We cannot comment any further at this stage."
Whiting, from Littlehampton, West Sussex, was given a life sentence in December last year by a judge at Lewes Crown Court after being found guilty of Sarah's murder.
He kidnapped the eight-year-old Surrey schoolgirl in July 2000 while she was visiting her grandparents with her family at Kingston Gorse, West Sussex. He bundled her into a white van as she crossed a road after playing in a field.
She was found in a shallow grave next to a busy Sussex road 16 days after she had vanished.
Whiting, who already had a conviction for child abduction when he kidnapped Sarah, is on the prison service's "rule 45", which is often adopted by sex offenders and brings self-imposed isolation from the rest of the prison.
With 600 inmates, Wakefield is the biggest high-security jail in England or Wales, and is the prison service's main centre for those who are serving life sentences.