Mubarek killed in Gladiator-style game, inquiry told

Zahid Mubarek was battered to death by his racist cellmate after
they were placed together in a game created for the
“perverted pleasure” of prison officers, an inquiry
heard today.

New Asset  
Zahid Mubarek

Duncan Keys, assistant general secretary of the Prison
Officers’ Association, told the public inquiry into the
murder that Mubarek, 19, was killed as the consequence of a game
called “Gladiator” or “Coliseum.”

The game involved pitting “unsuitable” inmates –
including black and white young offenders – against each other as
prison officers bet on the results, the inquiry heard.

Keys named Nigel Herring, chair of the Feltham POA,  when Zahid
Mubarek was killed, as the “instigator” of the

Keys told the inquiry Herring thought it was “funny”
and laughed about it.

He said he had made an anonymous phone call to the Commission for
Racial Equality saying that that Mubarek was killed as a result of
the game.

The inquiry heard Keys’ call to the CRE in which he 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.

“Now Mubarek wasn’t the only victim there. He was the victim that

Keys said that in addition to his call to the CRE in May 2004, he
also alerted senior prison officer officials. The director general
of prisons Phil Wheatley was also warned.

Keys told the inquiry: “I had gone to the general secretary
and the deputy general secretary of my own union and I had told
them of my deep concerns and the information I had.

Writing found on the wall of
the cell that Zahid Mubarek
shared with Robert Stewart

“I was subsequently told to shut up.”


Police investigated Keys’ claim but brought no charges.

In his July 2004 police interview Keys told detectives he believed
the game amounted to “a conspiracy to murder”.

“It is the most absolute worst thing that prison officers
could be involved in and I feel that strongly today,” he told

“But I also have a duty as a member of society and if
I’m made privy to that information and if, on balance, I
believe that I have to make people aware of it, then I’ll do
it again.”

Mubarak, 19, was killed in his cell by Robert Stewart, then also

The inquiry continues.

Backgrounder on Zahid Mubarek

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