A double murderer stabbed Sarah Payne’s killer Roy Whiting in the eye twice in prison because he was a "dirty little nonce", a court has heard.

Gary Vinter, 42, picked a high profile target in July 2011 because he wanted to change the conditions in which he was held at Wakefield Prison.

Whiting, a convicted sex offender sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for the murder of eight-year-old Sarah near her grandparents’ home in Kingston Gorse, Ferring, received emergency care following the attack in his cell and has made a full recovery.

Vinter appeared via a videolink from Long Lartin Prison, Worcestershire, before Mr Justice Openshaw sitting at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

After hearing Andrew Kershaw, prosecuting, give an explanation for the gruesome attack, Vinter said: "He was a dirty little nonce. That's why I did it."

Vinter, from Middlesbrough, sneaked into Whiting's cell and used a sharpened plastic toilet brush handle to stab Whiting in both eyes. Vinter then kicked and punched Whiting as he lay on the floor, before he left the cell.

The double murderer later told prison authorities "the only reason Whiting was still alive is he got tired during the attack," Mr Kershaw said.

Vinter told officers he had tried to kill Whiting, that as a "natural life" prisoner he had no hope and he had warned the authorities he would target a "high-profiler".

Whiting was treated at Pinderfields Hospital where he received stitches in his eye lids and the shard of plastic was removed.

Vinter admitted wounding with intent at a previous hearing and was given an indefinite sentence, with a notional minimum term of five years.

Vinter is appealing against his full life term before European Human Rights judges at the end of this month.

In 1996 Vinter was jailed for life for murdering Carl Edon, 22, a railway signalman.

He was released from prison in 2006 after serving a ten-year minimum term. He was recalled to prison for his part in a pub brawl and then went on to murder his wife Anne White, 40, four years ago.