Two high-security prison inmates have been found guilty of strangling a convicted child murderer from Huddersfield.

Gary Smith, 48, and Lee Newell, 44, said the other was to blame for the death of child-killer Subhan Anwar, who was found dead in his cell at HMP Long Lartin in south Worcestershire.

But both were convicted of murder by a jury at Warwick Crown Court.

Anwar was serving a life sentence for killing his partner's two-year-old daughter Sanam Navsarka at the family home in Riddings Road, Deighton in 2008.

Smith and Newall tied him up and throttled him with a pair of tracksuit bottoms on Long Lartin's Delta Wing on February 14.

Sanam Navsarka
Sanam Navsarka
 



The 24-year-old was serving a sentence of at least 23 years at the Category A jail, having been convicted of murdering Sanam Navsarka at Bradford Crown Court in 2009 .

The judge will hear submissions on Friday and will pass sentence on the pair on Monday.

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

Neither Newell nor Smith showed any emotion as they were unanimously convicted after the jury had deliberated for around three-and-a-half hours.

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.

Prison 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.

Smith and Newell, 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 child-killer's cell.

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

Mr Hassan was found dead at Swithland Woods, Leicestershire, in 1998.

Smith chose to remain in the cells at Nottingham Crown Court in April 1999 as he was ordered to serve at least 18 years for Mr Hassan's murder.

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.

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

In a statement issued after Smith and Newell were convicted of Anwar's murder, Detective Chief Inspector Jon Marsden, of West Mercia Police, said: "We still do not know exactly what happened that day in Subhan Anwar's cell and Smith and Newell have not given a reason as to why they visited him.

"I believe they have been utterly cowardly for not giving an explanation for their actions.

"Both were well-known to their victim and there was no sign of a forced entry or a struggle in the cell."

The senior detective added: "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".

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.

"We have received many condolences, cards, letters and even a collection from other prisoners in Long Lartin. They, like us, are in complete disbelief, shocked and saddened by how Subhan was killed by Smith and Newell."

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