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Sarah Payne’s killer Roy Whiting stabbed in prison attack

Roy Whiting
It is not the first time Roy Whiting has been attacked in prison - PA

The man who murdered eight-year-old Sarah Payne more than 20 years ago has been stabbed in prison.

Roy Whiting is serving a life sentence at the maximum security HMP Wakefield for the abduction and murder of the schoolgirl in July 2000.

Sarah went missing while playing near her grandparents’ home near Worthing in West Sussex.

Her body was found several miles away in a field just off the A29, near Pulborough, 17 days later.

Sarah’s murder sparked a national outcry and the introduction of Sarah’s Law following a campaign by her parents and the now-defunct News of the World.

Sarah Payne
Sarah went missing while playing near her grandparents’ home in West Sussex - PA

The law gives parents powers to check with police whether people given regular unsupervised access to their children have any convictions for child sex offences and was extended to all police forces in England and Wales in 2011.

According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, the jail knife attack on Sunday left Whiting covered in blood. The Prison Service said he was treated for minor injuries.

It is not the first time the child killer has been attacked in prison.

Two convicted murderers, Richard Prendergast and Kevin Hyden, were jailed for an additional seven and a half years each for attacking Whiting in his cell in 2018.

In 2011, Whiting was stabbed in the eye with a sharpened toilet brush handle by fellow inmate, twice-convicted murderer Gary Vinter.

He was left with a six-inch scar on his right cheek after he was attacked with a razor by Rickie Tregaskis, another convicted killer, in 2002.

Before murdering Sarah, Whiting had previously spent time in prison for the kidnap and indecent assault of a nine-year-old girl in 1995.

In 2010, Whiting’s 50-year minimum jail term for Sarah’s murder was reduced by 10 years by the High Court.

In a statement on Tuesday, West Yorkshire Police said: “At 5.14pm on Sunday evening, police received a call from a member of staff at HMP Wakefield reporting a male prisoner had been stabbed.

“Inquiries are ongoing.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “A prisoner at HMP Wakefield was treated for minor injuries following an incident involving another offender.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further while the police investigate.”