[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 17:55 GMT
Inmate murdered 'in prison game'
Robert Stewart
Robert Stewart is serving a life sentence for the killing
A racist prisoner killed his Asian cellmate after a fighting game was created for the "perverted pleasure" of prison officers, an inquiry has heard.

Union official Duncan Keys told the inquiry into Zahid Mubarek's death that wardens put a racist into his cell to "see what would happen".

The Home Office said a police inquiry found no evidence for the allegation.

Mr Mubarek was beaten to death by known racist Robert Stewart at Feltham Young Offenders' Institution in March 2000.

Imran Khan, the Mubarek family's solicitor said the allegation, if true, amounted to "bloodsport in prisons".

That kid was murdered for other people's perverted pleasure
Duncan Keys' call to the CRE

And Mr Khan accused the prison authorities of creating a "wall of silence" in the face of the accusations.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The allegations relating to unsuitable people being placed in cells together were thoroughly investigated by the police who found no evidence to warrant criminal charges."

Anonymous call

Mr Keys first made the allegations when he anonymously phoned the Commission for Racial Equality in May 2004. The CRE published its own report into the attack, concluding Zahid would not have died had he been white.

The 19-year-old was battered to death with a broken table leg. Stewart, now 24, from Hyde in Greater Manchester, was given a life sentence for the murder.

Zahid Mubarek
Zahid died two weeks after the assault from massive injuries
In his call to the commission, Mr Keys said: "I'm no bleeding heart on this but that kid was murdered for other people's perverted pleasure.

"The game was called Coliseum. Mubarek was killed because people thought it was funny to see what would happen when they put a young Asian lad in with someone who wanted to kill Asians."

He added that Mr Mubarek was not the only victim of the game, but he was the only victim who had died.

Mr Keys named Nigel Herring, chairman of the Feltham Prison Officers Association (POA), as one of those who had been talking about the practice.

Mr Herring's response is expected when he gives evidence to the inquiry on Friday.

Union approach

Mr Keys said he had "wrestled" with the allegations but felt he had no option but to make them known. Going to some of his union superiors, he said he had been "told to shut up".

But Mark Freeman, deputy general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, denied there had been a "wall of silence" among its members.

"As soon as we became aware of these allegations, we carried out an investigation into the substance and veracity and then informed the Prison Service authorities. We were fully responsible."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Zahid Mubarek's relatives say they are appalled



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific