Prisoners ‘bored’ in jail guilty of killing inmate

Subhan AnwarSubhan Anwar
Subhan Anwar
Two prison inmates strangled a Huddersfield child-killer to death after taking him hostage at a maximum security jail because they were “bored”.

Gary Smith, 48, and Lee Newell, 44, blamed each other for the death of convicted killer Subhan Anwar, who was found dead in his cell at HMP Long Lartin, in south Worcestershire, on February 14.

The pair tied up and throttled Anwar with a pair of tracksuit bottoms on the prison’s Delta Wing.

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The 24-year-old was serving at least 23 years after being found guilty of murdering his partner’s two-year-old daughter Sanam Navsarka at Bradford Crown Court in 2009.

Neither Newell nor Smith showed any emotion as they were unanimously convicted yesterday, after the jury at Warwick Crown Court deliberated for around three-and-a-half hours.

The pair are likely to be sentenced next week for killing Anwar, who had previously received compensation following a separate assault by inmates.

A two-week trial was told Newell and Smith were also serving life terms for murders committed in 1988 and 1998 respectively.

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Jurors heard how Smith calmly made Newell a cup of hot chocolate – even sweetening it with icing sugar – during a stand-off with prison staff after Anwar was strangled.

Staff were initially told Anwar had been taken hostage because the two inmates were “bored”, with Newell telling a warder: “He’s gone, he’s with Allah.”

Both defendants opted not to give evidence at the trial, but CCTV and DNA evidence proved they were involved in the killing.

Prison officers told the trial how they found Anwar’s body at about 8.20pm after taking Smith and Newell from the victim’s cell to a segregation unit.

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The pair, who were found in possession of property belonging to Anwar, were recorded on CCTV entering his cell during a period of free association at about 6pm.

Jurors also convicted Newell of stealing a watch, prayer beads and a metal earring belonging to Anwar, while Smith admitted the theft of property from the cell.

Smith, then of Anchor Street, Belgrave, Leicester, was jailed at Nottingham Crown Court in 1999 for murdering 22-year-old Ali Hassan, whose naked body was thrown into a quarry.

The victim, who Smith believed to be a police informer, was stabbed and struck about the head with a hammer in a “brutal and premeditated” attack.

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Newell was jailed for life in 1989 at Norwich Crown Court for murdering a woman who was strangled in March of the previous year.

Newell had tricked his way into a 56-year-old’s home by pretending he had a parcel, before gagging her and stabbing her to death after she threatened to call police. He stole £60 from her purse.

In a statement issued after Smith and Newell were convicted, Detective Chief Inspector Jon Marsden, of West Mercia Police, said: “Whatever Subhan’s status as a convicted prisoner, no one deserves to be killed in this way and it has caused his family a great deal of heartache.”

In a statement released by West Mercia Police, Anwar’s family described him as a model prisoner and claimed Newell and Smith were “animals”.

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The statement read: “No family of any person in or out of prison should go through the pain, torment and loss of a person like we are.

“We believed Subhan was innocent of the crime he was imprisoned for and despite his murder, we will continue our attempts for the case to be appealed.

“We as a family are devastated by this loss.”