A man serving time for assault in an Edinburgh prison who was due to be released in January has been given en extra 20 months for slashing the face of a gay fellow inmate.

Thomas Conington, 22, slashed the face of Paul Fegan in the latter’s cell in Ingliston Hall in Saughton Prison, Edinburgh.

Conington had reportedly gone to Mr Fegan’s cell to borrow a DVD. He claims that Mr Fegan – who he knew was gay – came toward him “with a look in his eye”. At this point, Conington pulled out a razor and slashed him across the face.

Yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Derrick McIntyre sentenced Conington to 20 months to run consecutively in prison.

As reported in Edinburgh News, the two prisoners had got on well and often played pool together. But had problems began when Mr Fegan began circulating rumours that Conington was gay and that the two of them had met on the outside in a gay pub.

Conington – who is heterosexual – was apparently worried that the rumours would leave him vulnerable to unwanted attention in prison, as he told an officer. The court were told that the officer had replied: “You better watch out Thomas, because if he wanted to have you he would”.

Conington’s defence agent Matthew Auchincloss told the court that this had been on his client’s mind when he launched his attack on Mr Fegan, who was described as a “large” and “physically intimidating” man.

Mr Fegan has been left with a near nine-inch scar on the left side of his face. Sheriff McIntyre described the attack as a “pretty vicious assault”.