Published Wednesday January 9 2019

Race hate murder was avoidable

Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board (BSAB) has today published on its website a highly critical report concerning the race hate murder of Kurdish asylum-seeker Kamil Ahmad by Jeffrey Barry in Bristol on 7 July 2016.

Barry, a violent mentally-ill racist, was convicted of Kamil’s murder in October 2017 and is serving a life sentence. The trial judge described the failings by public authorities leading to Kamil’s murder as “calamitous”. Today’s findings by the Safeguarding Board, which have been accepted by the myriad public authorities involved, add to this growing chorus of concern. The report concludes that Kamil’s murder could have been avoided, including by the organisations taking action against Barry in respect of the race hate crime to which he subjected Kamil for years. The organisations criticised in the report are Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Cygnet Healthcare, Bristol City Council, Milestone Housing Trust and Avon & Somerset Constabulary. Particular criticism is levelled at the NHS Trust and Cygnet Healthcare for failing to put a plan in place to protect Kamil following Barry’s release from mental health detention on 6 July, having been arrested and sectioned on 13 June 2016 after writing thirty-four notes threatening to kill Kamil and others.

Kamil’s brother Kamaran Ahmad Ali released the following statement on behalf of his family:

“This report confirms our worst fears, that Kamil’s life could have been saved if just one of the organisations involved had protected him from the racism that ended his life. The space this leaves in our lives can never be filled, yet not one of the organisations involved has offered us an apology since we lost our wonderful brother, uncle, cousin and friend. We call on each of these organisations to apologise and to sit down with us to answer our questions. The Chief Executive of the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust in particular must also consider her position given so many of these catastrophic failings happened on her watch.”

The family’s solicitor Tony Murphy of Bhatt Murphy said as follows:

“Any member of our society is entitled to protection from a known violent racist, not least a vulnerable asylum seeker. This systemic failure to protect Kamil constitutes race discrimination on a multi-agency level and a fatal breach of his human rights. The family now awaits the findings of an NHS Homicide Review, including to consider whether all of the evidence concerning this tragedy should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service and the Equalities & Human Rights Commission.

The charity Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) supported Kamil during his life, as they have supported his family following his death. A statement from SARI’s Director Alex Raikes can be read here.

 

 
 

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