A PRISONER was jailed for an extra year yesterday for slashing a another prisoner.

Colin Platt, 33, had denied at Hamilton Sheriff Court attacking Spencer Mellors, 34, within the A wing for lifers at Shotts Prison in Lanarkshire.

Sentencing Platt, Sheriff Dan Russell said the year's sentence would run consecutively to his current sentence. Platt was jailed for life in 1984 and is now due for release in 2002.

The court heard that at the time the fight broke out in April 1997 there was an an ongoing dispute between Mellors and murderer Charles McCluskey.

Platt claimed: ''Once Charles McCluskey found out I was being charged with slashing Mellors, he said to me: 'I don't know how that happened, because I slashed him and flung the knife away'.''

Platt admitted punching Mellors because seconds beforehand he had been threatened with being stabbed by another murderer, Wull Thomson. Platt claimed to have punched Mellors because he wanted to be put in a segregation block for safety.

Platt claimed he had been threatened by Thomson who allegedly told him: ''As soon as you get upstairs you're going to get stabbed.''

Platt's defence solicitor. Mr Allan MacLeod, asked his client if he took the threat seriously.

Platt said: ''Yes I took his threat seriously. He's doing a life sentence for murder.

''I punched Mellors so I could go to the digger (segregation block). If I went upstairs I'd get stabbed.''

McCluskey, when asked by Mr MacLeod if he had arranged to be in the exercise yard so he could attack Mellors, replied: ''I'd slapped him earlier and I went on exercise to try to stab him. I took a scalpel and a spike with me.

''Basically I attacked Mellors. I slashed him round about the chin. I remember hitting a bone''

Mellors told the court that he felt a blow to his face as he passed McCluskey. He said: ''When I felt the impact I turned round and saw McCluskey had something in his hand. I can't really say what it was. It was small but there was something glittery.''

Mellors earned the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal after he was jailed for nine years and nine months in 1996 for the sadistic rape of a 24-year-old prostitute.

During her eight-hour ordeal at his home in Old Drumchapel, Glasgow, he growled like an animal, bit her on the shoulder, hands, and cheek, and left red marks around her neck where he had tied a cord.

She had staggered bruised and bleeding from the bungalow towards a taxi. She told the driver: ''He growled like an animal and shook his head from side to side as he bit me - like a dog with a piece of meat in his jaws.''

McCluskey, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire, is serving a life sentence for murdering Steven Helwich,18, while on the run on the Isle of Man. He jumped bail while on an attempted murder charge in Scotland and was later brought back to face those charges.

He stabbed Mr Helwich at a Douglas nightclub in September 1994. The youth died from his wounds the following month.