A convicted murderer serving a 25-year term has taken legal action to try to force prison bosses to move a “bullying” gang “enforcer” to another jail.
The prisoner, convicted of murder nine years ago, says while in jail he has been assaulted, subjected to a “history of threats and aggression” – and left with a “stress disorder”.
He claims that Ministry of Justice officials breached his human right to protection in prison by unfairly putting the “bully” in the same jail.
Lawyers for the prisoner today asked a High Court judge to order the Ministry of Justice to transfer the gang boss to another prison.
Ministry of Justice officials deny wrongdoing by prison bosses.
They accept that the “enforcer” is violent but say the risk he poses is being “well-managed” and dispute the need for a transfer.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave – who has reserved judgment following a High Court hearing in London – made an order saying neither inmate should be identified.
Lawyers for the prisoner said the “bully” was a member of the “notorious ‘Midlands Burger Boys’ criminal gang” and part of a “prison gang which defined itself by reference to Islam”.
They said, in written papers given to the judge, that a prison profile noted that he was “believed to be an enforcer” for the prison gang, was “violent” and “believed to conceal home-made weapons”.
He had assaulted prison staff and was rated “high risk” by jail bosses, said lawyers.
A prison officer had said he used “his Muslim brothers”, who were “basically a gang” to “bully prisoners”, they added.
Lawyers said a staff note reported how the “enforcer” had tried to “scare and intimidate” the prisoner by saying “his Muslim brothers will get him”.
They said “security information” referred to the “enforcer” offering the prisoner “safety” by “becoming a Muslim”.
A prison “intelligence report” noted that the “enforcer” was “bullying people on the wing” and people were “scared to walk around the wing”, lawyers said.
And lawyers quoted from a 2008 report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, which said: “Muslim gangs; if you have a problem with one, you have a problem with them all. If you’re not in a gang you’re in trouble. People are converting to Islam for protection.”
The prisoner was give a life sentence in 2003 – and a judge imposed a minimum term of 25 years, lawyers added.
They did not give detail of the “enforcer’s” sentence.
Lawyers for the Ministry of Justice said the “enforcer” was unaware of the action and not legally represented at the hearing.
They told the judge it would be “manifestly” wrong to move him in such circumstances.