A former inmate from Cornwall has admitted throwing a foul-smelling bucket of liquid over a female prison officer at Exeter Prison – and it is claimed this contained human faeces and vomit.

Thomas Guest, aged 32, of Lamorna Close, Hayle, pleaded guilty to administering a noxious substance with intent to injure or aggrieve.

The full charge states that he threw a bowl containing human faeces, vomit and urine at the female officer – however, these specific details are disputed by Guest.

Judge Timothy Rose adjourned the case for a fact-finding hearing after being told that Guest had submitted a basis of plea, saying the bucket contained nothing more noxious than slops from cleaning the dining area floor.

The officer needed to go to hospital for a check up after the attack on September 28 last year.

Mr Michael Brown, prosecuting, said the victim and other witnesses will be asked to clarify what the substance contained and the soiled clothing may be sent for forensic examination.

He said that sentencing guidelines suggest a starting point, before credit for plea, of three years in jail if the mixture contained faeces or vomit and two years if it contained only urine.

Mr Gregory Gordon, defending, said he will discuss the case further with Guest before deciding whether to maintain the basis of plea.

If a fact-finding hearing is necessary, it will take place before Judge Rose, sitting alone and without a jury, on September 9.

Guest, formerly of St Columb Major, near Newquay, was serving a sentence of three years and six months – imposed at Plymouth Crown Court for burglary and assault – at the time of the attack; he has since been released on licence.

He stuck a finger in the eye of a grandfather who tried to stop him stealing his deceased wife’s jewellery at a house in Southwell Avenue, Plymouth, in August 2020.