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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 16:27 GMT
No inquiry into prison race killing
Zahid Mubarek
Mr Mubarek was killed on the day of his release
The family of an Asian teenager murdered by his cellmate in Feltham Young Offenders' Institute have lost their bid for a public inquiry into his death.

Zahid Mubarek was beaten to death by Robert Stewart, a man known to be violent and a racist, in March 2000.

The Appeal Court has upheld an appeal by the home secretary against a ruling at the High Court that there should be an independent investigation.

Mr Mubarek's family say they will take their fight to the House of Lords.

The home secretary had argued that a new investigation is unnecessary because enough details emerged at Stewart's trial.

Violent criminal

An internal inquiry by the Prison Service was also held.

Amnesty International has cited the Mubarek case as an example of "widespread" racism in British prisons.

Mr Mubarek, who was 19, was a first offender serving three months for theft at the west London institution.

He was killed by skinhead Robert Stewart, a hardened offender and known racist .

Mr Mubarek's killer Robert Stewart
Robert Stewart: Diagnosed as a psychopath

Stewart, known as "Spliffy" to prison officers, has been diagnosed as a psychopath.

Mr Mubarek was bludgeoned to death with a table leg in March 2000, the day he was due to be released.

His family wants to know why he was put in a cell with a man described as having "an alarming and violent criminal record, both in and out of custody".

The case has been described by the family's solicitor as a "wake-up call" for the Prison Service in the same way the Stephen Lawrence case was a "wake-up call for the police.

Widespread problems

In July 2000, the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Sir David Ramsbotham, said Feltham should be privatised because of its widespread problems.

He also condemned the attitude to the institute by the local branch of the Prison Officers' Association as "absolutely intolerable".

Mr Ramsbotham said he believed the trade union had prevented any chance of real change at the unit.


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