Cromford Street murder Sheffield: Man who killed himself while on remand for wife's killing begged forgiveness
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A Sheffield man found hanged in prison while on remand awaiting trial for his wife's murder had not been identified as a suicide risk, according to a report.
Vahid Kabiri, aged 43, was found hanged in his cell at HMP Doncaster after being arrested and accused of killing his 41-year-old wife, Saira Ali, 47, in Cromford Street, near Queens Road. The inquest into Mr Kabiri’s death concluded on June 27, with the cause of his death confirmed as suicide.
A report into the death by the Prisons Ombudsman reveals he had been in the prison less than a month when he was found dead. His medical records showed he had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his experiences in Afghanistan, where he had been imprisoned and tortured. He successfully applied for British citizenship in 2002.
Kimberley Bingham, acting prisons and probation ombudsman, said in the report: "We have considered whether staff should have recognised that Mr Kabiri was at risk and used procedures to support him. Mr Kabiri had several significant risk factors for suicide and self-harm.
"These included a history of mental health issues, previous suicide attempts, it being his first time in custody and in the early days of that experience, his lack of social support and, perhaps most significantly, the offence he had been charged with.
"We have considered whether there were any missed opportunities for staff to identify Mr Kabiri’s risk factors and consider whether they indicated he was at an increased risk of suicide."
The Director of Doncaster Prison told the investigator that staff had time to meaningfully engage with prisoners. Key worker sessions were quality assured.
But the ombudsman's report raised concerns staff lacked professional curiosity as to why Mr Kabiri was in prison and whether there were any risks that needed to be managed. They 'failed to properly enquire about any other issues he was facing', which was 'concerning given it was his first time in custody', said the report.
It added: "I am concerned that the nurse who assessed Mr Kabiri on arrival did not have access to information on his suicide and self-harm risk factors. A referral should have been made to the mental health team, but this was not submitted. Despite several known risk factors, staff did not identify Mr Kabiri as at risk of suicide.
"I am concerned that opportunities to make a holistic assessment of the risk he posed were missed. Because Mr Kabiri presented as someone settling well into prison life and making plans for the future, staff did not consider monitoring him under suicide prevention procedures. The investigation identified a disappointing lack of professional curiosity about Mr Kabiri’s circumstances by staff at Doncaster."
One prisoner told the Ombudsman Mr Kabiri told him that he did not know how he had ended up killing his wife and "he thought that she must have used black magic on him," the report added.
Mr Kabiri said he was worried about his children because they had been left with no parents and that he would not see them again until he was an old man.
Following Mr Kabiri's death, police found a note in his cell in which he referred to the alleged offence and indicated that he did not want to live if his sons were not with him. He asked for forgiveness.
The Ombudsman has issued a number of recommendations.