Home News I WILL deport rapist saved by plane mutiny, Priti Patel tells victim

I WILL deport rapist saved by plane mutiny, Priti Patel tells victim


I WILL deport rapist saved by plane mutiny, Priti Patel tells victim two years since passengers got him taken off flight to Somalia

  • Deportation of Yaqub Ahmed, 32, was halted when passengers staged a mutiny
  • Unaware of his crime, they demanded security guards take him off the aircraft
  • Priti Patel said Home Office doing everything in its power to remove him from UK
  • She believes it exposes how system for deporting foreign criminals is ‘broken’

Priti Patel has promised the victim of a gang rapist that deporting her attacker is a ‘top priority’.

During a meeting last week, she reassured the woman that the Home Office was doing everything in its power to remove Yaqub Ahmed from the UK.

Ahmed, 32, was told a decade ago that he was liable for deportation but since then has, with the help of taxpayer-funded lawyers, run rings around officials, foiling repeated attempts to kick him out.

Foiled: Yaqub Ahmed, circled, is taken off the 2018 flight at Heathrow by security guards after fellow passengers, who were unaware of his appalling crime, objected to his deportation

Foiled: Yaqub Ahmed, circled, is taken off the 2018 flight at Heathrow by security guards after fellow passengers, who were unaware of his appalling crime, objected to his deportation

Two years ago, his deportation to his native Somalia, via Turkey, was dramatically halted when airline passengers staged a mutiny.

Unaware of his appalling crime, passengers on a Turkish Airlines jet about to fly him out of the UK demanded security guards remove him from the aircraft at Heathrow after he began screaming.

Since then he has continued to frustrate government attempts to remove him.

The case has shocked the Home Secretary, who believes it exposes how the system for deporting foreign criminals is ‘broken’ and needs reform, and convinced her that the rights of victims need to be bolstered by new laws.

Promises: Ahmed’s victim, who met the Home Secretary during last week and was told the Home Office was doing everything in its power to remove him from the UK

Promises: Ahmed’s victim, who met the Home Secretary during last week and was told the Home Office was doing everything in its power to remove him from the UK

Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday can also reveal:

  • The cost of detaining Ahmed since his botched deportation in October 2018 is likely to be £71,000 – equivalent to £100 a day;
  • More than £50,000 of taxpayer-funded legal aid has been paid to various law firms who have represented him since 2007 – with the bill expected to climb further;
  • Thirteen years of criminal trials, prison costs and immigration cases by Ahmed has already saddled taxpayers with a bill exceeding £300,000. His victim received just £13,500 in criminal injury compensation;
  • An anonymity order has been imposed by an immigration judge, preventing the media from reporting developments in Ahmed’s case;
  • In a draconian move, a reporter from this newspaper was banned from a bail hearing involving Ahmed in July.
Priti Patel, pictured above, believes the case exposes how the system for deporting foreign criminals is ‘broken’ (file photo)

Priti Patel, pictured above, believes the case exposes how the system for deporting foreign criminals is ‘broken’ (file photo)

Ahmed was jailed for nine years in 2008 for his part in the rape of a 16-year-old girl who had become separated from her friends during a night out in London’s West End. His victim, who has struggled to cope with the complex post traumatic stress disorder triggered by her rape, spoke out last year and pleaded with the Home Office to deport him.

In a highly unusual move, the woman was last week invited to meet Ms Patel. ‘[The Home Secretary] is very adamant that she wants rid of him and is just shocked at how it’s played out,’ said the woman, now 29, who cannot be named for legal reasons. 

‘She just wanted to meet me so she could tell me herself that this is a top priority of hers and to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen. She said that, fundamentally, the system is broken now and needs changing.’

The cost of Ahmed’s battles to remain in the UK has soared since his botched deportation two years ago, with at least six separate bail hearings since August 2019.

He was released on bail in March last year, but detained again shortly afterwards because he ripped off an electronic tag and tried to flee the country. Reporting restrictions were imposed by an immigration judge last October, which is preventing the MoS from revealing developments in the case.

The Home Office declined to comment on Ms Patel’s meeting with the victim. A spokesman said: ‘We would not comment on an individual case.

‘It isn’t right that victims suffer twice – once at the hands of violent criminals and again when the broken system prevents justice from being done.’

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