Prison officers at Feltham young offender institution
“fabricated” prison records in the time leading up to
the murder of Zahid Mubarek, a public inquiry today,
writes Maria Ahmed.
Niall Clifford, governor of Feltham YOI at the time of the
killing, said officers had been “lazy” in failing to
record “exactly what was occurring” in the prison.
Mubarek, 19, was battered to death by his cellmate Robert
Stewart, then also 19, at Feltham in March 2000.
In his statement to the public inquiry into Mubarek’s
death, Clifford said when he arrived at the prison, staff were
“simply copying” the same records they had used
previously rather than creating accurate records.
He added: “They felt at the time that there was no point
in having a good reporting system as it was not possible to provide
a good regime for prisoners.”
The inquiry also heard that Clifford left the post of governor
after only one year of being asked to turn Feltham around.
Clifford admitted that he had “misled” staff by
telling them he would stay for three years, but denied that he had
done anything wrong by seeking promotion.
Clifford’s decision was criticised by Lord Laming in a
prison management report following Mubarek’s murder which
highlighted the “serious vacuum” and low morale created
by frequent changes of governor.
Laming’s report said staff believed Clifford would be
responsible for implementing “much-needed changes,” and
his move had a “negative” effect.
The frequent changes of management were cited as a “key
reason” as to why prisons were failing to succeed, the report
The inquiry continues.