Concerns about “appalling” conditions at Feltham
Young Offender Institution “fell on deaf ears” in the
period leading up to the murder of Zahid Mubarek, an inquiry heard
today, writes Maria Ahmed from the
Lucy Bogue, the then chair of the Independent Monitoring Board,
a prison watchdog, told the public inquiry into Mubarek’s
death that former home secretaries Michael Howard and Jack Straw
had repeatedly failed to respond.
Bogue said that the Home Office did not consider the problems to
be “sufficiently serious” during the four years leading
up to the killing.
The 19-year-old was murdered by his racist cell mate Robert
Stewart, also 19, at Feltham YOI in March 2000.
Bogue told the inquiry that overcrowding had placed
“significant” strain on Feltham, with some inmates
forced to eat their meals “in close proximity” to
toilet bowls in shared cells.
Bogue said assaults among prisoners had been a “growing
phenomenon” along with “unacceptably” high levels
of self harm. She told the inquiry “it is terrible that it
took such tragedy and turmoil to bring about any real