23rd Oct, 2016

Prison slammed over 999 delay after attack

Evesham Editorial 23rd Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A MAXIMUM-security prison in Evesham has been slammed for taking 50 minutes to call an ambulance after an inmate was brutally strangled in his cell.

Gary Smith, 49, and Lee Newell, 45, who were both already serving life sentences for murder, took Subhan Anwar hostage and murdered him at HMP Long Lartin on February 14 last year.

But despite the pair telling officers they had killed Anwar it took officers almost an hour to call for paramedics and then a further 30 minutes for them to reach the prison

A damning report from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman said Smith and Newell had a history of taking hostages and blamed each other for the child-killers death.

It further revealed that between 1999 and 2011 Newell had 47 prison disciplinary reports against him and Smith had 32, but both been moved to the vulnerable wing because of owed drug debts.

Anwar was transferred to Long Lartin from HMP Doncaster in June 2009 after he was given a life sentence for torturing and murdering his ex-partner’s young daughter.

In his report Nigel Newcomen CBE said: “An ambulance was not called until around 50 minutes after staff were first told the man was dead.

“We consider that, in future, an ambulance should be called as soon as staff are aware of the possibility of serious injury, to remove any potential for delay in emergency treatment.

“While it would not have altered the outcome for the man, we consider that an ambulance should have been called as soon as it became apparent that there was the possibility of serious injury which would require immediate medical attention.

“A delay in calling an ambulance could have serious consequences in future hostage incidents where a prisoner is still alive.”

Smith and Newell took the victim hostage in his cell on Valentine’s Day last year, locked the door from the inside, taped him up

and strangled him with his own jogging bottoms.

The men initially told police they had killed Anwar and said it was because they were ‘bored’ with ‘nothing to do’ and the fact he was a child killer made him a target.

They were both handed further life sentences at Leamington Crown Court in September 2013 and told by the judge, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, they will never be considered for parole.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We will look closely at the findings of the inquest and any report the coroner may make to see what lessons can be learned, in addition to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s investigation.

“We have a zero-tolerance approach to violence of any kind in prison and serious incidents will be reported to the police.”

Victim – Subhan Anwar was murdered in his cell. (s)