Prison staff at Feltham “wasted” an opportunity

Prison staff “wasted” an opportunity to provide a
proper psychiatric assessment of Zahid Mubarek’s killer
Robert Stewart, an inquiry has heard.

Professor John Gunn, former chair of forensic psychiatry at the
Royal College of Psychiatrists, told the inquiry into
Mubarek’s death that an assessment may have prevented Stewart
from being placed in a cell with Mubarek.

Mubarek was 19-years-old was killed by Stewart in a shared cell
at Feltham Young Offender Institution in March 2000.

Dexter Dias, counsel for the Mubarek family, asked Gunn:
“If there was a proper psychiatric assessment of this
severely disturbed young man, are there alternative
pathways…where he might not have ended up, because of that
psychiatric assessment, in the same cell as Zahid in March of

Gunn, who was commissioned to write an independent report for
the inquiry, replied: “Yes…at the very least a
psychiatric assessment would have given a lot more information. It
a possibility which I believe should have been raised.”

He added: “It may well have got through the system that
this man was not a man to be put in a cell with another

Gunn agreed with Dias that the failure to provide Stewart with
an assessment was “a terrible wasted opportunity”.

Gunn also told the inquiry that a national survey he had
conducted jointly with Anthony Maden, professor of forensic
psychiatry at Imperial College, London, found “at
least” 1,000 mentally disorded prisoners who were
“wrongly” placed in prison.

He told the inquiry: “There are a lot of
prisoners…who have slipped through the nets… who should
be in the National Health Service under prison policy.”

Gunn and Maden are due to finish giving evidence today.

The inquiry continues.

For background information on the case go to:-


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