Somali child rapist we can’t deport is £7,000 – and released back on to the streets: You’ve guessed it… locking him up is a ‘breach of his human rights’
A Somali paedophile has been given thousands of pounds by a human rights court – and released on to the streets.
Ministers have spent more than a decade trying and failing to deport Mustafa Abdi, who is thought to have cost taxpayers more than £600,000 in jail costs and legal aid.
But yesterday Strasbourg judges ordered the British government to pay the convicted child rapist thousands of pounds in damages and legal costs.
The court said Abdi was ‘wrongfully detained’ for two and a half years, breaching his right to liberty.
Ministers had decided he should remain in jail while awaiting deportation because he presented a ‘high risk’ to the public. But it emerged he was released from prison in January this year because there was no prospect of him being deported any time soon.
He has spent around 13 years in jail and received tens of thousands of pounds in legal aid to help him thwart deportation.
Last night Home Office officials were still insisting they would ‘continue to seek to deport’ him – despite having failed to do so since 2002.
Abdi, who was born in 1975, arrived in Britain in May 1995. His asylum claim was rejected, but he was given leave to remain in Britain until February 2000.
In 1998 he was convicted of rape and indecency with a child and sentenced to eight years in prison.
In May 2002 David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, ordered his deportation – but Abdi made the first of several appeals.
While in prison he was assessed as presenting a ‘high risk’ of sexual offending if let out. As a result he was detained after his sentence was completed while ministers tried to deport him.
They were thwarted because no airline was prepared to fly him, or any other Somali nationals, back home against their will. Abdi refused to return home voluntarily.
In September 2006 he was given permission to apply for a judicial review of the decision to keep him behind bars.
He won his initial case, but the Court of Appeal ruled that his detention between December 2004 and June 2006 was lawful because he could have returned to Somalia voluntarily. He was let out in April 2007 but arrested again a year later after breaching his bail conditions by failing to report to police.
Ministers struggle to return Somali nationals home, even those convicted of heinous crimes, because of another ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
Yesterday the same court overturned the British court’s ruling and said his detention was unlawful because regular case reviews did not take place.
The Strasbourg judges ordered the Government to pay £1,277 (1,500 euros) in damages and £5,960 (7,000 euros) for legal costs and expenses. It is thought he has received between £20,000 and £30,000 in legal aid in Britain, while taxpayers have also had to cough up £45,000 a year for jail costs.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are extremely disappointed with the court’s decision and are urgently reviewing our options.
‘We will continue to seek to deport this individual who has shown a complete disregard for the laws of this country.
‘We believe it is right that dangerous individuals are kept in detention, wherever possible, in order to protect the public.’
Xafiiska Wararka Midnimo, email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org