UK Home Office adamant it had to deport 17 Jamaicans

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UK Home Office adamant it had to deport 17 Jamaicans

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —Two convicted rapists, eight convicted drug offenders, and three persons convicted of robbery and firearm offences are among 17 Jamaicans now on a flight to the island after they were deported from the United Kingdom (UK) this morning.

A short while ago, a spokesperson for the British Home Office told the Jamaica Observer that all 17 deportees are serious foreign criminals who had to be deported from the UK.

“They were convicted of rape, violent crimes and drug offences and had a combined sentence length of 75 years, as well as a life sentence,” the Home Office spokesperson told the Observer.

“We make no apology whatsoever for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals.

“We will be urgently pursuing the removal of those who were prevented from boarding the flight due to a legal challenge over a mobile network failure,” added the Home Office spokesperson.

In a ruling following an emergency out-of-hours hearing last night, the Court of Appeal ordered the Home Office not to remove anyone scheduled to be deported from two detention centres near Heathrow on the 6:30 am (UK time, 1:30 am locally) flight to Jamaica today, “unless satisfied (they) had access to a functioning, non-O2 SIM card on or before February 3”.

This morning the Home Office noted that the ruling did not apply to everyone who was slated to be deported, and those persons have been sent home.

According to the Home Office, the court ruling prevented the deportation of some foreign nationals who were convicted of rape, sexual attacks, violence and drug crimes which spread misery across the UK.

“The legal process for removing these offenders, which has included repeated appeals and judicial reviews, has already cost the British public tens of thousands of pounds,” said the Home Office spokesperson.

“As we have previously stated, all the foreign national offenders who were at Heathrow IRCs on February 5, 2020 and were due to be removed on the charter flight had ample access to other methods of communication during the mobile network outages.

“This included providing alternative mobile SIM cards upon request, access to landlines and the internet and face-to-face legal [advice] surgeries.”

The British Home Office list of deportees to Jamaica today:

  • 17 foreign criminals with a combined sentence of 75 years and one life sentence were deported on this year's charter flight.
  • This includes a combined total of 15.5 years for rape, 16 years for violent offences, almost 29 years for drug-related offences, including Class A drugs, and 14 years for robbery with possession of firearms.

Arthur Hall

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