Thursday, February 17, 2005

Was murder racist?

Two psychiatrists cast doubt over a supposedly racist murder:

Two top psychiatrists have said the murder of an Asian inmate by his cellmate was not racially motivated.

The experts told the Zahid Mubarek Inquiry that the teenager's March 2000 death happened because killer Robert Stewart was a psychopath.

The conclusions of Professors John Gunn and Anthony Maden contradict findings in a report for the Commission for Racial Equality.

Its own report concluded Zahid would not have died had he been white.

Robert Stewart, now 24, attacked Zahid Mubarek hours before his cellmate's planned release from Feltham Young Offenders' Institution in west London.

Now serving a life sentence for the murder, he has since been identified as a psychopath. Before the attack, wardens intercepted a racist letter he tried to send from jail.

The inquiry, chaired by Mr Justice Keith, commissioned Prof Gunn, of the Institute of Psychiatry, to review the Prison Service's handling of Stewart. Prof Maden, professor of Psychiatry at Imperial College, London, was separately commissioned to do the same work for the Prison Service itself.

In his statement, Prof Gunn told the inquiry: "There are many areas of agreement between Prof Maden and myself.

"Each of us believes that Robert Stewart killed Zahid Mubarek impulsively in an abnormal state of mind. Neither of us believes that the killing was premeditated or racist."

Of course, the real crime here is the murder not whether it was racist. Unfortunately, in these politically correct times, racism is often seen as being worse than murder.


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