Double killer is sentenced for Whiting attack

'Nonce': Roy Whiting
'Nonce': Roy Whiting
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A double murderer stabbed notorious child killer Roy Whiting twice in the face with a sharpened toilet brush because he was “a dirty little nonce”, a judge heard yesterday.

Powerfully-built Gary Vinter, 43, threatened to pick a high-profile target in July last year because he wanted to change the conditions in which he was held at Wakefield Prison, Andrew Kershaw, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court.

Appearing over a videolink from Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire when he heard Mr Kershaw say there was no evidence that the particular character of Whiting played a part in his choice of victim, Vinter interrupted: “He was a dirty little nonce, that’s why I did it.”

Whiting, a convicted sex offender, was jailed for life in 2001 for the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne.

The court heard prior to the attack the pair had not spoken together.

They had only been on the same wing at Wakefield Prison for a few days.

On July 1 Vinter sneaked into Whiting’s cell and used the sharpened brush handle to stab him in both eyes.

“On the second stabbing the tip of the weapon broke, leaving a piece of plastic in the victim’s eye socket,” said Mr Kershaw.

Vinter then kicked and punched Whiting as he lay slumped against the cell wall before leaving. He told prison authorities the only reason Whiting was still alive was that he got tired during the attack.

He said he had “no beef” with prison officers but as a full life term prisoner he had no hope of release. The “cold-blooded armed attack” was calculated to manipulate the prison authorities, said Mr Kershaw.

Whiting had stitches in his eyelids and the plastic removed at Pinderfields Hospital. After three months of blurred vision in his left eye he had made a full recovery apart from some numbness in the area.

Vinter, from Middlesbrough, admitted wounding with intent and told Mr Justice Openshaw “thank you very much, judge, it’s been a pleasure” when given an indefinite sentence for public protection with a minimum of five years.

The judge said Vinter had deliberately fashioned a weapon from the brush which showed a considerable degree of pre-meditation.

“No doubt serving a whole life term, the defendant thinks he has nothing to lose and from what he said to prison staff after the attack it seems he was attempting to manipulate the conditions in which he was held, that is also an aggravating feature.”

Vinter was jailed for life for the 1995 murder of railway signalman Carl Edon, a work colleague whom he stabbed 13 times at a Grangetown signal cabin on Teesside. He was released after serving a 10-year minimum sentence.

Despite being recalled to the life sentence after he was involved in a 2006 pub brawl, he was released again and in 2008 arranged for the kidnap of his estranged wife Anne White whom he had met while on licence.

He then beat, strangled and stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife.

Mark Foley, representing Vinter, said he had an exemplary record in prison during his first life sentence but the circumstances in which he was now held was totally different.

“He is held in a system without hope of release, without any prospects, incentive or rehabilitative work.”

Vinter is one of three prisoners, including notorious killer Jeremy Bamber, who are challenging their full life term before European Human Rights judges next week.

The judges ruled in January that Britain could impose a sentence to keep its most dangerous and notorious criminals behind bars for the rest of their lives but in July five judges at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights granted Vinter leave to appeal that decision.