Man who murdered young Leeds woman for refusing sex died after being found hanging in cell

A man who murdered a young woman after she refused his sexual advances died after being found hanging in his cell, a report has confirmed.

Karar Ali Karar was jailed for the murder of 21-year-old Jodi Miller in Harehills in 2019. A report has found that he died after being found hanging. Photo: West Yorkshire Police.

Karar Ali Karar stabbed Jodi Miller 15 times to the head and body after she refused to have sex with him at a flat in Milan Road, Harehills, on February 25, 2019.

Miss Miller was 21-years-old.

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Karar, a 29-year-old Sudanese national, was given a life sentence in August 2019 at Leeds Crown Court.

He was told he must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Karar was found hanging in his cell at HMP Leeds on September 4 of that year. He died in hospital the following day.

A report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman raised concerns that staff underestimated Karar's risk to himself during segregation periods and was not given suicide and self-harm monitoring.

The report, published on October 21, 2021, also noted several instances of violent attacks carried out by Karar, including the reported sexual assault of a nurse and two prisoners.

On February 27, the day after being remanded in prison for the murder of Miss Miller, Karar attacked his cellmate with a kettle.

He was then moved to the segregation unit for three months on March 3, after damaging his cell.

On 12 June, prison staff moved Mr Karar from the segregation unit to the prison’s complex needs unit.

On 9 and 14 August, Mr Karar allegedly sexually assaulted a nurse and two prisoners.

On August 15 he was convicted of murder. The following day he attacked an officer and was moved back to the segregation unit.

At 8.25am on September 4, Karar was moved from the unit to be transferred to HMP Hull but attacked an officer in reception. He was taken back to the segregation unit.

Three officers entered his cell at 10.01am and found him hanging from a ligature.

A hospital doctor declared that he had died at 12.05 on September 5.

The Ombudsman, Sue McAllister, said: "I am concerned that staff under-estimated Mr Karar’s risk to himself.

"Mr Karar had a number of significant risk factors for suicide and self-harm: he was facing a long sentence (a life sentence with a 25-year tariff); he spent 120 days in the prison’s segregation unit, over two periods; he had mental health problems; and he spoke only limited English.

"In addition, he may have been worried about being deported to Sudan, though I accept that there is no evidence that he explicitly said this to any staff, and I am concerned that prison staff were not aware of this during a failed attempt to transfer him to another prison shortly before he hanged himself.

"I am also concerned that aspects of his segregation were not well managed: staff did not create a mental health care plan within 30 days; did not hold an initial case review when there were healthcare reasons not to segregate him; and did not complete certain Initial Segregation Health Screens accurately.

"Mistakes were also made when the Prison Group Director authorised Mr Karar’s segregation beyond 42 and 84 days.

"I also consider staff should have used an interpreter during complex discussions with him."

The Ombudsman made a number of recommendations to the prison Governor including to; base their assessment of a prisoner’s risk of suicide and self-harm on the prisoner’s known risk factors rather than their presentation or statements, ensure that staff have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and the need to record and share relevant information about a prisoner’s risk, ensure that staff manage prisoners held in the segregation unit in line with national guidelines and ensure that staff use appropriate interpretation services when managing prisoners with limited English language skills, particularly in health assessments and when deciding when to authorise a prisoner’s segregation.