So­mali crim­i­nal handed £78,000 com­pen­sa­tion for at­tempt to de­port him

Rob­ber with 13 jail terms suc­cess­fully claimed he had been falsely de­tained by Home Of­fice of­fi­cials

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Daily Tele­graph Reporter

A SO­MALI ca­reer crim­i­nal who racked up 13 cus­to­dial sen­tences in 15 years has won £78,500 in da­m­ages af­ter the Home Of­fice tried to de­port him.

Ab­dul­rah­man Mo­hammed, 39, came to the UK in Fe­bru­ary 1996 when he was 17 and has spent much of the last two decades in and out of cus­tody, largely for se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences.

He was de­tained pend­ing de­por­ta­tion as a for­eign crim­i­nal, and claimed da­m­ages for false im­pris­on­ment re­lat­ing to three pe­ri­ods of de­ten­tion to­talling 445 days.

As­sess­ing da­m­ages in Lon­don af­ter the Home Of­fice ad­mit­ted li­a­bil­ity, Ed­ward Pep­per­all, the Deputy High Court Judge, said that as a 13-year-old, Mo­hammed suf­fered “unimag­in­able bar­bar­ity” in Mogadishu at the out­break of the civil war.

He was tor­tured by armed men and had since suf­fered mod­er­ately se­vere post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der.

On ar­riv­ing in the UK, he soon found him­self mix­ing in bad com­pany and be­came a “ha­bit­ual and vi­o­lent crim­i­nal”.

Be­tween Feb 1998 and Dec 2013, he was con­victed of 31 of­fences and was handed cus­to­dial sen­tences 13 times.

Most no­tably he was sen­tenced to two dif­fer­ent four-year terms for rob­bery.

Af­ter the de­ci­sion was taken to de­port him in 2008, Mo­hammed ap­plied to the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights, cit­ing the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing sit­u­a­tion in So­ma­lia, and it di­rected that he should not be re­moved from the UK un­til fur­ther no­tice.

He said the en­su­ing pe­ri­ods of de­ten­tion made him feel trapped, hu­mil­i­ated and hope­less.

Yes­ter­day, the judge said some might well ques­tion why a for­eign cit­i­zen who had so thor­oughly abused the hos­pi­tal­ity of this coun­try by the com­mit­ting of se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences was en­ti­tled to any com­pen­sa­tion. He con­tin­ued: “First, there are few prin­ci­ples more im­por­tant in a civilised so­ci­ety than that no one should be de­prived of their lib­erty with­out law­ful author­ity.

“Sec­ond, it is es­sen­tial that where a per­son is un­law­fully im­pris­oned ... that an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary should hold the ex­ec­u­tive to ac­count.

“Third, jus­tice should be done to all peo­ple.”

Mo­hammed, said the judge, was a “pro­lific and vi­o­lent of­fender”, adding: “I can well un­der­stand why the Home Sec­re­tary might wish to de­port him. She has not, how­ever, been able to do so, largely be­cause of the very real risk that de­por­ta­tion would pose.”

He said Mo­hammed’s pres­ence in the UK was “not con­ducive to the pub­lic good” but added: “Nev­er­the­less, in a civilised so­ci­ety, he is en­ti­tled to jus­tice. Specif­i­cally, he is en­ti­tled not to be falsely im­pris­oned and, given the Home Of­fice’s ad­mis­sion he has been un­law­fully de­tained, he is now en­ti­tled to the com­pen­sa­tion I have awarded.”

Ab­dul­rah­man Mo­hammed was ‘a vi­o­lent and pro­lific of­fender’, but still en­ti­tled to jus­tice, a judge at the High Court ruled

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