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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Jail cell killer attends inquest
Shahid Aziz
Shahid Aziz was attacked just minutes after first meeting McCann
A prisoner who was convicted of murder after slashing his cell-mate's throat should never have been sharing a cell, he has told an inquest.

Peter McCann, 28, murdered Shahid Aziz, 30, after they were locked up together in Armley jail, Leeds, on 2 April 2004.

He told an inquest sitting at Leeds Crown Court that he was in a "paranoid state" because he was coming off drugs.

"I shouldn't have been put in a cell - I should have been put in a medical unit," he told Leeds Coroners' Court.

The inquest heard he had not told any prison staff about his concerns.

The two men, who had not previously shared a cell, only met on the morning of the murder.

'Racist jail'

Mr Aziz, a practising Muslim, was cleaning their cell with another man and McCann became paranoid because they were "talking Asian", the court heard.

He described Armley as a "racist jail" where Asian and white inmates should not be made to share cells, although he denied having a problem himself sharing with other races.

Leslie Thomas, solicitor for Mr Aziz's family, said: "That's your view of the world is it, that Asians and whites hate each other?"

McCann said: "From my experience, yeah."

After the attack McCann told a prison officer "I took the blade off him, I'm not racist", the court heard.

McCann pleaded guilty to the murder. He was sentenced to life and told he would serve a minimum of 12 years behind bars.

He was asked if he was aware of the suffering caused to Mr Aziz's family and his wife, Parveen Khan, from Dewsbury, who was listening to the proceedings. He said he was not.

The inquest, which has already heard from more than 30 witnesses, was adjourned until Tuesday and is due to last another three weeks.

Cell killer was deemed 'low risk'
17 Apr 07 |  West Yorkshire
Family fears are focus of inquest
16 Apr 07 |  West Yorkshire
Man is arrested over jail death
02 Apr 04 |  West Yorkshire

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