The brutal and violent death of Chelmsford prisoner Thokozani Shiri this past weekend.
A 21-year-old Zimbabwean prisoner from Chelmsford who died in hospital had previously been jailed after stabbing a teenager, who had to have his gall bladder removed. Thokozani Shiri, previously of no fixed abode but living around Harlow, died in the early hours of Sunday morning in hospital.
The exact time and cause of death has not yet been confirmed by the Ministry of Justice. An investigation has also been launched by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, which is commonplace when an inmate dies in custody.
The 21-year-old had been serving a prison sentence close to three years in length after he was jailed in March 2019. He had pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court on February 27 to causing grievous bodily harm and possession of a bladed article.
The incident he was jailed for occurred on October 8 last year when Shiri stabbed a 16-year-old boy once in the abdomen after a verbal altercation on a footpath on School Lane, in Harlow. The altercation caused the victim to lose his gall bladder.
The two males, who were known to each other, had briefly argued at around 6.15pm before Shiri pulled out a combat knife and stabbed the teenager. The victim was found by an off-duty nurse who performed first aid until paramedics arrived.
He was later taken by air ambulance to the Royal London Hospital. Shortly after, 6.25pm, Shiri was then found in front of a house in Park Lane, having fought with another boy who was uninjured.
The 21-year-old was approached by two PCSOs, who instructed him to discard his knife. As he was arrested he claimed his actions were in self-defence. He received two years and ten months imprisonment for grievous bodily harm and a nnine-monthsentence for possession of a bladed article, to run concurrently.
The brawl outside a Harlow barShiri, along with a second man, Wael Rzaigui, was also previously spared jail at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, March 16, 2018 after both men admitted their part in a fight that saw another man glassed and suffer life-changing injuries.
The pair had pleaded guilty to affray in relation to the incident that occurred in the early hours of Sunday, September 3, 2017. The pair were part of a group attack outside Harlow’s Twenty One Bar, on Post Office Walk, and sprayed two male victims with an ‘unknown substance’ at the time.
Shiri squirted the liquid, claimed to be Ciroc vodka and fruit juice, into the victim’s faces. Rzaigui, 20, of Parsonage Leys, could be seen waving a glass bottle before smashing it on the ground in CCTV footage played to the court.
The pair were both handed a community order and ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work by Judge Emma Peters QC. Another man, Jordan Ogoazi, was jailed for his leading role in the attack.
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