Asylum seeking Somali rapist to fight continued imprisonment in Britain
A failed asylum seeker jailed for a sickening child rape won the right to challenge a Government decision to keep him behind bars while he awaits deportation.
The case threatens to inflict new humiliation on the Home Office, which has been trying to deport the Somalian without any success for three-and-half years.
The 30-year-old, whose name is being kept secret by the courts, became eligible for parole in 2002 after completing half of an eight-year term for raping a 13-year-old girl.
But he is considered such a 'high risk of sexual re-offending' the Home Office is using immigration powers to keep him locked-up.
These powers allow the Government to keep him imprisoned - at a cost of around £40,000 a year to the taxpayer - while his deportation is processed.
The rules say criminals who fall into this category can be held for only a 'reasonable' length of time.
He challenged his detention in the High Court, claiming he should be allowed to go free as the Government had crossed this line.
And, in a blow for Home Secretary John Reid, Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, ruled there was 'an arguable case' which should go to a full hearing as a matter of urgency. If the Somalian wins, he could be released within weeks.
He has been offered voluntary repatriation to Mogadishu in Somalia, but chose to instead stay in jail and fight his removal.
His lawyer, Richard Drabble QC, said the amount of time he had been detained is unlawful and that there was no guarantee the Government would be able to deport him.
Mr Drabble said: "There have understandably been attempts by the UK Government to remove him, but they have not yet worked and there is no guarantee the present position is going to change."
Mr Justice Lloyd Jones refused to grant bail until the judicial review because of the threat he still poses to women.
The court heard that he had shown no remorse of the rape and that despite the length of time spent in prison, his risk of re-offending had not decreased in any 'quantifiable' way.
Nigel Giffin QC, appearing for the Home Secretary, said he hoped the man could be returned to Somalia "within a very short time".
It is horrifying to think that this animal could be out on the streets again in the very near future.