An Asian prisoner was brutally assaulted by two white inmates at
Feltham Young Offender Institution but staff did not refer him to
hospital until 24 hours later, an inquiry has heard,
writes Maria Ahmed.
The victim suffered “serious” injuries including a
broken jaw and was kept in hospital for 19 days following the
attack, which occured just two months before Zahid Mubarek was
murdered by his racist cellmate Robert Stewart at Feltham in
Maqsood Ahmed, a Muslim advisor to the Prison Service, gave the
evidence on the attack into the inquiry into Mubarek’s
Ahmed raised the case in a letter written in 2001 to Nicholas
Pascoe, then governor of Feltham YOI, which was read to the
At the time of the attack in January 2000, the victim, who was
Muslim, was watching television in a room that should have been
supervised by staff, the inquiry heard.
The two assailants were immediately identified to staff, and a
bullying incident form was written on the day of the attack with a
statement from the victim.
However, a principal officer told the victim there was no clear
evidence and the two assailants were never disciplined, the inquiry
The Commission for Racial Equality’s investigation later
criticised the then governor of Feltham Nicholas Pascoe for not
taking any action against the prison officers involved for their
initial failure to investigate the incident.
When the case was finally referred to the police one year after
the attack, the police charged the two assailants with actual
Ahmed wrote to Pascoe: “I am deeply shocked to learn that
staff at Feltham seem to be very casual about this racist incident
and have resumed ‘business as usual’ so soon after the
tragic death of Zahid Mubarek.”
He added: ”We do not appear to have learned anything from
past experiences and Muslim prisoners rightly feel discriminated
against, unsafe, and completely let down by HM Prison Service. It
is also of great concern that Muslim prisoners feel that they are
not treated equally in relation to the complaints system and feel
further victimised if they make complaints, so many choose not to
bother to report incidents.”
The evidence emerged at the end of the first phase of the
Mubarek inquiry which is due to conclude later today.
The inquiry will sum up phase one of the evidence next week.