Narey considered resigning over Mubarek’s death

    The former director general of the Prison Service who headed the
    organisation at the time of Zahid Mubarek’s death considered
    resigning following the teenager’s murder, an inquiry heard
    today, writes Maria Ahmed at the
    inquiry.

    New Asset  
    Zahid Mubarek

    In a statement to the inquiry into Mubarek’s death, Martin
    Narey said he had discussed his resignation with the then home
    secretary Jack Straw, but decided afterwards to remain in post
    following Straw’s encouragement.

    The chief executive of the national offender management service
    also told the inquiry he had received a death threat and personal
    hate mail following his attempts to prioritise race relations
    training within the Prison Service.

    He said that the Prison Service had failed to convince staff
    that race relations should be a priority because he had come across
    two prison governors who were hostile to the idea of training.

    Under his leadership, the Prison Service became the first
    organisation to ban BNP membership.

    Mubarek, 19, was battered to death by his cellmate Robert
    Stewart then also 19, at Feltham Young Offender Institution in
    March 2000.

    Narey also told the inquiry that another death like
    Mubarek’s could happen again if overcrowding in prisons was
    not addressed.

    He also criticised the “gross” conditions caused by
    overcrowding.

    Narey admitted cell-sharing risk assessments of prisoners
    introduced after the killing were “not fool-proof”.

    He also told the inquiry that the “exceptional and
    horrifying” attack had been preventable, but said there was
    “no guarantee” that a similar incident could not happen
    again.

    He blamed “harsh” sentencing policies for the rise
    in the prison population, including the growing use of custodies
    for “relatively minor” offences.

    Narey told the inquiry: “Unless we get a more balanced
    approach to sentencing, this problem will remain.”

    The inquiry continues.

     

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