An African refugee who was jailed twice for sex offences was awarded £110,000 in compensation for having to stay in prison for “too long”.
Guinean native Aliou Bah, 26, was imprisoned twice for serious sexual assault — once against a 16-year-old girl — but was awarded the compensation for being detained for 21 months longer than his original prison sentences whilst the Home Office fought for his deportation, reports The Sun.
The West African joined his refugee father in the UK in 2007. In 2011, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, was jailed for 18 months, and put on the sex offenders’ register.
He then went on to commit another sex attack against a woman and was jailed for two years in 2014.
Following both periods of imprisonment, Bah was detained for a total of 21 months “pending deportation”.
However, the judge presiding over the case, Judge Nicholas Madge, ruled the periods of detention after his sentences had expired were unlawful. Given the West African’s refugee status and as the Guinea Embassy refused to issue travel documents, there was no prospect of him being deported, Central London County Court heard.
The newspaper reports that then-Home Secretary Theresa May had signed the deportation order in December 2011, unaware that he was entitled to be treated as a refugee.
Judge Madge ruled Bah had a right to receive justice and was due compensation because of the Home Office’s incompetence.
A Home Office spokesman said: “People who have no right to live in this country should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them. We have removed more than 41,000 Foreign National Offenders since 2010.
“We are now considering the judgement but this case does not change the legality of Mr. Bah’s status in the UK.”