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Barking prisoner found not guilty of Pentonville murder

PUBLISHED: 12:37 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 04 December 2019

A prisoner from Barking is among three to be cleared of murdering a fellow inmate.

Basana Kimbembi, 35, along with Robert Butler, 31, and Joshua Ratner, 27, were acquitted of killing 21-year-old Jamal Mahmoud inside Pentonville prison.

The new father died in October last year as the north London prison struggled with overcrowding, staffing, and violent factions fighting to control the lucrative trade in contraband.

During an Old Bailey trial, jurors were told CCTV which might have captured the killing on the upper floor of G Wing had been deactivated years ago.

On a tour of the heavily-criticised north London jail, the jury saw a gaping hole in netting above the building designed to stem the flow of contraband by drone.

After the jury deliberated for more than a week and a half, all three men were cleared of murder.

But they found Kimbembi, who lived in Barking before being jailed and has previous convictions for 15 offences including a cash-in-transit robbery, guilty of wounding Mr Mahmoud's friend Mohammed Ali with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The defendants nodded and Butler said "thank you" to the jurors following the verdicts.

Judge Richard Marks QC adjourned Kimbembi's sentencing until Monday.

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