‘Gladiator game’ charge denied

Allegations that Zahid Mubarek was placed in a cell with his
killer Robert Stewart as part of a gladiator-style game were
dismissed as a “malicious” smear campaign last week.

Prison Officers’ Association branch chair at Feltham Nigel
Herring, who allegedly instigated the practice, told the inquiry
into Mubarek’s death the allegations were “a fairy tale”.

Herring said “rumours” of the game had surfaced during a period
of “bad feeling” between the Feltham POA and the POA National
Executive Committee last year.

He described the allegations as “a malicious act to cause

Herring’s denial came after Duncan Keys, the assistant general
secretary of the POA, named Herring on the basis of information he
had allegedly received from an NEC member.

The inquiry heard that Keys anonymously telephoned the
Commission for Racial Equality in May 2004 saying Mubarek was
placed in a cell with a known racist “for other people’s perverted

But the Metropolitan Police found no evidence to back up the
allegations following an investigation last year, and Keys admitted
he had no direct proof.

In his statement given to the police investigation, Herring
said: “I think it was… an attempt to attack me or this branch
[Feltham POA].”

No more witnesses are expected to be called on the gladiator
game allegations.

The inquiry continues.

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