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Priti Patel's fury at deportation dodge by rapists and killers

Priti Patel’s fury at deportation dodge by rapists and killers: Home Secretary reveals her ‘deep anger and frustration’ over last-minute legal challenges to removal flight

  • Charter flight was due to remove 50 offenders including rapists and murderers 
  • But last-minute challenges ‘pouring in’ to Home Office preventing 43 of the deportations to Jamaica
  • Labour MPs campaigned for the criminals, calling deportation a ‘racist dragnet’ 
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel said offenders ‘laugh in the face of the British people’

Priti Patel today voices her ‘deep anger and frustration’ after murderers, rapists and paedophiles dodged deportation to Jamaica by lodging last-minute legal challenges.

The Home Secretary, writing for the Daily Mail, says the farce allows foreign offenders ‘laugh in the face of the British people’.

She writes: ‘I know Daily Mail readers will share my deep anger and frustration that these offenders were able to dodge their return to Jamaica.’

The Home Office said ‘specialist legal firms’ were behind a surge of applications which led to 43 criminals avoiding deportation.

After a flurry of late legal claims, only seven Jamaican nationals were aboard a charter flight which took off from Stansted airport in the early hours of yesterday.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has voiced her ‘deep anger and frustration’ after murderers, rapists and paedophiles dodged deportation to Jamaica by lodging last-minute legal challenges

The 43 who evaded removal had collectively been sentenced to 245 years’ imprisonment for an appalling range of crimes. They included two murderers and one man who had been handed 15 years in jail for raping a child.

The exact cost of yesterday’s charter plane has not been revealed but previous flights have cost around £300,000. It means the seven criminals who were removed yesterday cost the taxpayer more than £40,000 each for the flight.

They had been sentenced to a total of 46 years in jail for offences including rape, sexual offences against children, assault and possession of offensive weapons.

One had been handed a minimum tariff of 20 years for murder, while another served a long jail term for four counts of rape. His victim was a girl aged under 16.

Labour MPs had campaigned in support of all 50 criminals, with former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott describing the Home Office’s efforts to deport them as a ‘racist dragnet’.

The Home Office said ‘specialist legal firms’ were behind a surge of applications which led to 43 criminals avoiding being boarded onto a deportation flight to Jamaica (stock photo)

None of the 50 was born in Britain, although some came to this country as children. The Home Office insisted it had carried out ‘extensive checks’ to ensure none of them had a claim to UK citizenship after the Windrush scandal, which saw legitimate migrants unfairly targeted.

One of the offenders believed to have been aboard yesterday’s flight was Akeem Finlay, who was jailed for six years for glassing a man with a broken bottle in 2011.

Wounds inflicted by Finlay scarred his 20-year-old victim for life. Finlay – now 31, who lived in Croydon, south London, at the time of the offence – came to the UK aged 10.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Ostin Elkins said at the time of Finlay’s sentencing for GBH at Blackfriars Crown Court: ‘Finlay failed to admit any responsibility for his actions.’

The exact cost of yesterday’s charter plane has not been revealed but previous flights have cost around £300,000. It means the seven criminals who were removed yesterday cost the taxpayer more than £40,000 each for the flight (stock photo)

Anti-deportation campaign group Movement for Justice said it believed Finlay was among a group taken from Colnbrook immigration removal centre, near Heathrow airport, for deportation.

Matt Vickers, the Tory MP for Stockton South, condemned Labour MPs for campaigning to stop the deportations.

‘I am completely baffled as to why Labour politicians are so eager to keep murderers and child rapists in Britain,’ he said. ‘The majority of people in this country fully stand by the Home Office’s decision to remove criminals who pose a danger to people in this country.’

All the offenders will have been handed at least 12 months in jail to qualify for deportation.

Ministers are required to enforce such deportations under laws passed by Labour in 2007. A charter flight to Jamaica in December saw 23 offenders including murderers and rapists pulled off the plane at the last moment. On that occasion 13 were deported.

Miss Patel writes of the criminals who were due to be deported yesterday: ‘Allowing them to remain should be a stain on the consciousness of our nation.’

She adds: ‘I am determined to reform our laws… so that foreign criminals who break our laws can no longer abuse our system and laugh in the face of the British people.’

PRITI PATEL: We HAVE to stop these criminals laughing in our face

As Home Secretary, keeping the public safe is my number one priority. A key part of that mission is removing people who come to this country, abuse our hospitality, and commit crimes.

That is what the British people expect – and this Government will always act in the interests of the law-abiding majority.

So I make absolutely no apology for taking action to remove foreign offenders.

And that’s what happened yesterday when seven criminals – all Jamaican nationals – were returned home on a charter flight.

Between them, their prison sentences totalled over 46 years.

As Home Secretary, keeping the public safe is my number one priority. A key part of that mission is removing people who come to this country, abuse our hospitality, and commit crimes, writes Priti Patel

They had been convicted of a variety of violent, obscene and abhorrent crimes including rape, sexual offences against children, assault and possession of offensive weapons.

Their criminal acts will have had a devastating impact on their victims.

What sort of message would it send to them – and to the public more widely – if we simply allowed these people back onto our streets?

Quite simply, foreign nationals convicted of such offences must expect to be removed from the UK after serving their time.

Allowing them to remain should be a stain on the consciousness of our nation.

It is fact, that UK laws rightly allow us to deport foreign nationals convicted of an offence in the UK and sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment where no exceptions stop it.

But it is also a fact that yesterday we should have removed 50 foreign national offenders to Jamaica, not seven.

This is because the current system and laws allowed an influx of legal claims – litigation to stop the removal of 43 offenders whose prison sentences shockingly ran to a combined total of 245 years.

These are offenders whose crimes included murder, attempted murder, rape and sexual offences against children, as well as drugs and firearms offences.

To add insult to the victims of these appalling crimes, many of these legal claims were made a matter of hours before the flight was due to take off, and supported by a chorus of Labour MPs and campaigners – some of whom contrived to claim that their deportation was somehow ‘racist’ and ‘disproportionate’.

I know Daily Mail readers will share my deep anger and frustration that these offenders were able to dodge their return to Jamaica. This system is wrong and broken, which is why I am more deter-mined than ever to deliver the reforms that are so badly needed to fix our broken system.

Through my New Plan for Immigration, we will instil a fair but firm approach that cracks down on abuse of the system and expedites the removal of those who have no right to be here.

It’s not a problem we can solve overnight as it will require new laws to be passed in Parliament, and the Nationality and Borders Bill is pivotal to this change.

The British people have had enough – they want to see change.

And I am determined to reform our laws to deliver that change so that foreign criminals who break our laws can no longer abuse our system and laugh in the face of the British people.

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