Killers, rapists and paedophiles avoid deportation flight: Priti Patel blasts ‘merciless’ legal claims as just SEVEN board plane
- A number of legal claims have prevented a series of UK deportations to Jamaica
- Priti Patel called the claims ‘meritless’ and hit out at defenders of ‘killers, rapists and child abusers’ who she said are now back ‘on the streets of Britain’
- Labour MPs have backed the offenders’s rights to stay in the UK
Killers, rapists and paedophiles were among those who dodged deportation to Jamaica with a series of last-minute legal challenges, Priti Patel told the Mail last night.
The Home Secretary blamed the failure to remove more than 100 offenders from this country on ‘meritless’ legal claims.
She also blasted ‘political interventions’ for stopping the deportations – a thinly veiled reference to Labour MPs who have backed offenders’ rights to stay in the UK.
Miss Patel said: ‘Meritless late legal claims and political interventions mean disgusting killers, rapists and child abusers who have violated our laws and values were removed from the manifest and are still on the streets of Britain.
‘This cannot continue… Our Nationality and Borders Act is now law and we are in the process of making reforms that will end the cycle of last-minute claims and appeals that can delay removals.’
The new measures – yet to come into force – will require all legal arguments to be submitted at the beginning of a case, disallowing later attempts to make new claims. Just seven foreign criminals – with 127 convictions between them – were aboard the Home Office charter flight in the early hours of yesterday.
The Home Secretary blamed the failure to remove more than 100 offenders from the UK to Jamaica on ‘meritless’ legal claims
The original passenger manifest stood at 112, but was slashed to barely a handful by late appeals to the courts and the Home Office.
Boris Johnson and Miss Patel have repeatedly expressed their frustration at what they describe as ‘Lefty lawyers’ who campaign to prevent the removal of convicted criminals.
Offenders who were deported on the 1am flight included a child rapist and another paedophile convicted of sexually assaulting children.
A full list of the crimes committed by those who avoided the flight had not been released by the Home Office last night.
Each charter flight is thought to cost the taxpayer about £200,000, meaning yesterday’s flight cost around £28,000 per head.
Among those who avoided deportation was Mark Nelson, who has a conviction for cannabis cultivation. He has been in the UK for 22 years and has five children here, it was reported.
One man held in an immigration detention centre took a suspected overdose of pills before the flight, and avoided removal while he received medical attention.
Appeals lodged by lawyers on behalf of the Jamaican crooks included last-minute applications for judicial reviews, asylum cases and claims that they were victims of ‘modern slavery’.
Anyone alleging they have been exploited to work as a ‘modern slave’ effectively puts a hold on their immigration case, under laws introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary.
The previous four flights of this type to Jamaica have taken just 17, 13, seven and four passengers.Home Office minister Tom Pursglove told the Commons: ‘What we have seen over the last 24 hours is more last-minute claims facilitated by specialist immigration law firms, as well as representations from MPs to stop this flight from leaving.’
All the offenders will have been handed at least 12 months in jail. Ministers are required to enforce the deportations under laws passed by Labour in 2007.
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