UK

Somali Rapist And Paedophile Mustafa Abdi To Receive Damages Over Human Rights Breach

09/04/2013 15:45 BST

A convicted rapist and paedophile is to receive damages from the British government after a European court found his human rights had been breached.

Somali national Mustafa Abdi, who was sentenced to eight years in jail in 1998 for rape and indecency with a child, was unlawfully detained for two-and-a-half years as he awaited deportation, the European Courts of Human Rights said.

The Strasbourg court found this to be a breach of his right to liberty and has ordered the UK government to pay €1,500 (£1,277) in damages and €7,000 (£5,960) for his lawyers' costs and expenses.

Abdi, who was born in 1975 and is currently detained in HMP Brixton, arrived in the UK in 1995 and, although refused asylum, was granted exceptional leave to remain in the UK until February 2000.

While serving his sentence in 2002, the then home secretary, David Blunkett, ordered Abdi's deportation and issued an authority for detention until the making of a deportation order.

In April 2004, Mr Blunkett authorised Abdi's detention until his deportation.

However, from August 2004 until July 2006 it was not possible for the government to remove Abdi because the last carrier willing to take "enforced returns" to Somalia withdrew and Abdi refused to return voluntarily.

In September 2006, Abdi was granted permission to apply for judicial review of the decision to detain him.

After a previous legal challenge, the Court of Appeal held that the period of detention between December 2004 and June 2006 was lawful because Abdi could have returned to Somalia voluntarily and he was refused permission to appeal to the House of Lords.

He was then released in April 2007 but re-detained in April 2008 after breaching his bail conditions.

The European Court of Human Rights found that the detention was not lawful under UK law because the regular reviews required were not carried out.

In January, the Strasbourg court awarded damages to a funfair worker who raped a young teenager after forcing her to drink alcohol.

Samuel Betteridge, 58, from Mablethorpe, was jailed after he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one of attempted rape at Lincoln Crown Court in 2005.

A 13-month delay between the end of Betteridge's minimum term and his first parole hearing was a breach of his right to a speedy hearing, the European Court of Human Rights found.