An ex-soldier has been "beaten to within an each of his life" in prison by a gang of up to eight inmates in an alleged terrorist attack, according to reports. Former paratrooper Craig Jones was attacked in his cell during the "major incident" at Hewell prison in the West Midlands on 9 January.

One of the men allegedly involved in the attack on Jones, formerly of the 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, is said to be a Muslim who was convicted of killing another soldier by dangerous driving in 2014, reported the Times.

A source at the prison told the Times that Jones, who only recently arrived at the prison while on remand, was targeted because of his military background. The source added: "I was told he had a fractured eye socket, they sliced up his face and beat him to within an inch of his life. It was a major incident."

Jones was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham, where soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are treated, and expected to make a full recovery.

A Prison Service said the incident is being investigated by HMP Hewell and police. A spokesperson added: "A prisoner at HMP Hewell was taken to hospital following an incident on Saturday, 9 January. The circumstances are being investigated by both the police and the prison, and we will take action against anyone found to have been involved."

The Muslim inmate reported to be involved in the attack was sentenced to 10 years in prison last October for killing a soldier after speeding through a red light and crashing into the vehicle he was driving. He attempted to run away from the scene, but was wrestled to the ground by four eyewitnesses.

Hewell Prison has been described as "one of the worst in Britain" because of its high number of inmate attacks, suicides drug use, successful escape attempts and overcrowding. A report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons in 2013 said the jail was "unacceptably dirty" with high levels of assaults. A separate report by the Hewell Independent Monitoring Board also expressed concerns about the "rise in violence between prisoners and attacks on staff" in 2015.