A DARWEN man who tried to kill his cell mate while serving a life sentence for murder has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

David Stuart Smith, 24, was sent to Liverpool's Walton Prison in February last year after admitting killing 56-year-old Jeffrey Livesey at the Police Street hostel, Darwen, in July 2004.

He had wrongly suspected his victim of being a paedophile, his subsequent trial was told.

After the murder in which Mr Livesey suffered head injuries, two fractured ribs and ruptures to his liver and spleen Smith gloated and told police: "I did the beast and drank his beer."

A post mortem examination found injuries consistent with being stamped and knelt on.

Twelve months later, Smith tried to kill his cell mate Martin Roberts, who was also serving a life sentence, by tying a ligature around his neck and stuffing cloth in his mouth.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Smith decided to start an argument with Roberts, who suffers from manic depression.

Afterwards, Roberts was very quiet and Smith asked him if he wanted to hang himself and said that even if he did not he would help him anyway.

He used a piece of torn sheet as a ligature and tied it around Robert's neck and pulled it tighter and tighter until he lost consciousness, said Peter Davies, prosecuting.

Smith then stuffed a piece of cloth down his victim's throat and rang the alarm bell for the wardens, who discovered him lying on the floor under a bed.

It was revealed that Roberts had suffered quite severe head and back injuries caused during the incident but he had since recovered.

Smith, who previously lived at the Police Street hostel, pleaded guilty to attempted murder on August 20 last year, just six months into his murder sentence for which he must serve at least 13 years and five months before he can apply for parole.

The latest seven-year sentence will run concurrently with the life sentence.