Two prison inmates accused of murdering a convicted killer seemed "horrendously calm" while locked in a cell with his body, a trained siege negotiator has told a court.
Prison officer Thomas Smith today described the chilling moment he found Gary Smith and Lee Newell after they allegedly tied up and strangled Subhan Anwar to death.
The pair were serving life sentences for murder at HMP Long Lartin in south Worcestershire when Anwar, whose ankles had been bound with tape, was pronounced dead on February 14 this year.
Giving evidence on the second day of a trial at Warwick Crown Court, Smith, a trained negotiator who knew both defendants described the horrific scene as "calm."
Asked by prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith to describe how Newell had seemed, he said: "It was calm, it wasn't loud or distressed.
"He was just quite calm.
"He said 'He's gone, he's with Allah'."
After making the comments, Newell then removed a piece of cardboard covering an observation hatch, the court heard, allowing prison officers to see into the cell.
Jurors heard Newell was seen standing near the door, while Gary Smith was sitting on a chair smoking a cigarette.
Anwar, who was serving a life sentence for murder imposed at Bradford Crown Court, was seen to be lying motionless and face down on a bed.
The court heard yesterday how Newell was made a hot chocolate by Gary Smith as the two inmates waited to be taken to a segregation unit.
Mr Grieves-Smith asked prison officer Smith what the mood was like between the defendants as they waited in the cell.
"There was no real tension between them," the officer said. "They were both horrendously calm."
Another prison officer, Mark Smith, was tasked with keeping check on the men every 15 minutes after they were moved to separate cells in the unit.
He told the court he observed Newell to be pacing around his cell after the alleged murder, while Gary Smith made himself a cup of tea and went to sleep.
Gary Smith, 48, and Newell, 44, both deny murdering Anwar.
Newell, who was convicted of murder in 1989, denies stealing a watch, prayer beads and a metal earring belonging to Anwar.Suggest a correction