A violent convicted sex attacker who continued to commit crimes while using human rights laws to fight efforts to deport him has finally been sent back to Sierra Leone, the Evening Standard reports.
A senior Immigration Judge ruled five years ago that Mohamed Kendeh, who admitted indecently assaulting 11 women between 2002 and 2007, should be allowed to stay in the UK because he arrived aged six and had virtually no family left in West Africa.
But he went on to be jailed again for robbery in 2009, prompting renewed efforts to deport him, and the 25-year-old was finally sent back to Freetown on Sunday, the Home Office said.
It comes as Home Secretary Theresa May’s attempts to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada, once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, are also being frustrated by human rights laws.
Gabrielle Browne, who was training for the London Marathon on a towpath when she was sexually attacked by Kendeh in 2003, welcomed the move, saying he should never have been allowed to stay.
Ms Browne, 46, who has waived her right to anonymity, said: “Kendeh committed serious offences and abused the rights and freedoms of women in south London.
“I’m very pleased he has been deported. This should have happened in 2007 when he was, in my view, wrongly allowed to remain in the UK.”
It emerged after his arrest that he had recently been released from a young offenders institution after being found guilty of four sexual assaults on women when he was 15.
Immigration Minister Damian Green added: “Kendeh committed appalling crimes but made every attempt through the courts to thwart his removal and further prolong the suffering of his victims.
“I am pleased he has now been successfully returned to his home country.”
Kendeh claimed his right to a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is enshrined in UK law under the Human Rights Act.
Mr Green went on: “For too long Article 8 has been used to place the family rights of foreign criminals and immigration offenders above the rights of the British public.
“This is why we will change the immigration rules to reinforce the public interest in seeing foreign criminals and those who have breached our immigration laws removed from this country.”
Kendeh, who attacked lone women in parks, was allowed to stay in the UK in October 2007 when Mr Justice Hodge, president of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, blocked moves to deport him.
He upheld an immigration judge’s decision that Kendeh, who was living in Peckham, south London, should be allowed to stay because he had a ‘right to a family life’.
The ruling was made under Article 8, which was the number one reason foreign criminals or illegal immigrants managed to defeat deportation in the courts in 2010, figures from HM Courts Service showed.
Some 149 of the 233 appeals against deportation were successful on human rights grounds, with 102 of these citing Article 8 alone.
But after his release in June 2009, Kendeh went on to commit a street robbery within months.
Jailing him for five years in October 2009, Judge Simon Pratt told Croydon Crown Court Kendeh should be deported after serving his sentence.
“You have had ample experience of the terror that you have caused lone women and you admitted that you saw her as easy to rob because you could overpower her,” the judge told Kendeh.
“I unhesitatingly view you to be a dangerous offender and I am firmly of the view that you present a serious risk to the public by the commissioning of serious and unspecified offences.
“I regard your continuing presence in this country as contrary to this country’s good and I recommend your deportation.” Source: Evening Standard.
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