A PRISONER jumped on an officer before slashing his face with a razor blade in a shocking attack at Oxfordshire's troubled jail.

The officer needed hospital treatment after the 'serious assault' at HMP Bullingdon, near Bicester, early on Tuesday morning.

A fellow officer who witnessed the incident said the prisoner also wielded a 'back-up weapon' as he ran at his victim 'shouting in a foreign language'.

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It took several staff to restrain the attacker, who later asked to be 'let out of his cell to finish the job', according to the witness.

The prisoner has since been moved to HMP Bullingdon's segregation unit, while the victim is understood to have returned home from hospital after needing stitches, but may require further treatment.

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The witness, who has asked to remain anonymous, revealed officers were worried about the impact of staff shortages on 'rising violence' at the jail, despite a drop in incidents at the start of this year.

He said: "We're worried about the increase in violence and the lack of staff about.

"We've been promised all sorts of things, like more staff, and they're not coming true."

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He added: "Some prisoners will ask if the member of staff is okay, others will say 'good, I hope he dies'."

No arrests had been made as of yesterday afternoon, but the officer who witnessed the assault claimed HMP Bullingdon was previously aware the prisoner was 'violent, aggressive and unpredictable'.

He added that foreign words translating as pledges to 'murder and kill' were found inside the attacker's cell.

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The assault happened after the prisoner was let out of his cell in the prison's B wing at about 8am on Tuesday.

He ran at his victim and was revealed to be carrying a blade in one hand and a 'screw in a piece of wood' in the other, according to the witness.

The attacker then 'jumped on the officer's back' and slashed his face, creating a 'four-inch long' wound.

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Prison staff dived in to help and the on-site paramedic was on the scene 'within two minutes', before an ambulance was called when the medic struggled to control the bleeding, the witness said.

The victim is believed to have left hospital on Tuesday night and is now at home with his family.

A prison service spokeswoman said: "We do not tolerate violence against our hard working staff – the incident has been referred to the police and we will push for the strongest possible punishment, which could lead to the perpetrator spending more time behind bars."

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Thames Valley Police added yesterday: "Thames Valley Police is investigating an assault at HMP Bullingdon. A member of staff was assaulted yesterday at around 8am.

"This is being investigated as an incident of grievous bodily harm. No arrests have been made."

The witness claimed the prison was up to 73 officers short, although governor Ian Blakeman, below, said this was exaggerated.

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He added: "We are in fact only four prison officers short on our payroll at the moment. Some are currently training but the figure is nowhere near 73.

"The violence is also not increasing. The first quarter of 2019 saw our first drop in violence for several years and saw levels lower than the same period in 2018."

Last month, the governor insisted officers now have a better grip on violence thanks to improved staff levels, even with the prison operating near capacity.

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Bullingdon Prison governor Ian Blakeman.

In 2017, the prison was reported to be struggling to fill 65 positions out of its 368 total officer jobs, leaving the jail at the mercy of drug dealers, gangs and organised crime.

Meanwhile, a report from the prison's Independent Monitoring Board last year found violence, drug and mobile phone finds and fights had all increased.

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The attack happened on the same day that Oxfordshire's head coroner said he would tell the prison to review its safety after an inmate killed himself.

Speaking at Tuesday's inquest into the death of paedophile Daniel Davey, Darren Salter pledged to send an official letter to HMP Bullingdon and care providers for new measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.