Prisoners who strangled child killer will never leave jail

Sanam Navsarka
Sanam Navsarka
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Two prisoners who tied up and strangled a fellow inmate while serving life sentences for murder will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Lee Newell, 44, and Gary Smith, 48, were both handed whole life sentences by a judge at Warwick Crown Court on Monday for the “chilling” murder of convicted child-killer Subhan Anwar.

Lee Newell Courtesy West Mercia Police

Lee Newell Courtesy West Mercia Police

Anwar, 24, was serving a life sentence for killing his partner’s two-year-old daughter Sanam Navsarka in 2009.

Sanam had 107 separate injuries on her body, all four limbs broken and fractures to both forearms and thigh bones.

Sanam’s mother Zahbeena Navsarka, who grew up in Dewsbury, and is formerly of Soothill, was jailed for nine years for manslaughter following the trail in 2009.

Anwar, formerly of Batley, was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years for her murder.

Gary Smith Courtesy West Mercia Police

Gary Smith Courtesy West Mercia Police

Ruling that Newell and Smith should never be considered for parole, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said: “There is in reality no mitigating factor in either of your cases.”

Smith and Newell were convicted of murdering Anwar last week following a two-week trial.

Jurors heard that 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 killed in his cell at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire in February.

He had been tied up with tape and strangled with his own jogging bottoms.

Subhan Anwar

Subhan Anwar

The inmates were also convicted of stealing personal items, including prayer beads, a watch and an earring, from Anwar after choking him to death inside his cell on February 14.

Both defendants refused to leave the cells at Warwick Crown Court to hear that they would never be released for killing Anwar.

During his sentencing remarks, Mr Justice Baker said he believed Anwar had not resisted because he mistakenly believed he was being taken hostage.

The judge, who addressed his remarks to Smith and Newell despite their absence, said: “One of the most chilling aspects of this case was the almost complete lack of emotion shown by either of you after the killing.”

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Jon Marsden, who led the investigation for West Mercia Police, said: “Such a major sentence is not given by a judge without a lot of thought about the seriousness of the offence. Smith and Newell have killed before have and have killed again, so it is no surprise to me Justice Baker has taken this action.

“I believe the sentence also reflects the contempt shown by Newell and Smith, who have shown no remorse.”