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Kalif Dibbassey acquitted of murder of fellow prisoner at Wormwood Scrubs

28 November 2018

James Scobie QC

James Scobie QC of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team led Mark Fraser of Furnival Chambers. He was instructed by Jamie Fisher of Dobsons Criminal Law Solicitors.

Kalif Dibbassey was acquitted in less than three hours by the jury after a five-week trial, of the murder of Khader Saleh, a fellow convicted prisoner on C Wing in Wormwood Scrubs prison. The Prosecution alleged that Dibbassey lured the deceased into his cell to attack him with a prison-made shank after a period of hostile violence between them. The deceased was part of Somalian gang on the wing who Dibbassey alleged were hostile to him.

The evidence revealed that the prison was unable to adequately protect inmates from high levels of serious violence throughout the establishment. In the immediate aftermath of the stabbing, which occurred in Dibbassey’s cell, his knife was thrown from the window onto the exercise yard below. When released from an adjoining cell, which gave access to the scene of the stabbing, the Defendant is shown on the CCTV to leave that cell with two co-accused prisoners who had been in the cell at the time of the killing. One was a friend of the deceased who went to his aid, the other a friend alleged to have assisted Dibbassey.

The aftermath shows Dibbassey on CCTV ‘skipping’ to the cell of his best friend in the wing on another landing. He is later shown to be laughing with the co-accused. He was arrested and charged after a no comment interview. His defence at trial was that he had tried to resolve their dispute in his cell only for the deceased to attack him with an iron bar aided by another prisoner who had a knife. Dibbassey resorted to using his own knife in self-defence resulting in stab wounds to the front and back of the deceased, one being fatal. He gave evidence over a period of 5 court days.

This case has been widely reported in the media, including BBC.

James Scobie QC is a member of the Garden Court Crime Team.

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