Tags: UK | Jamaica

British Killer Claims He's Gay, Avoids Deportation to Jamaica

By    |   Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 06:17 PM

A  Jamaican national who stabbed a teenager to death less than a year after arriving in London cannot be deported because his homosexuality would put him in danger if sent back to his Caribbean home, Britain's Court of Appeal has ruled.

In a decision that triggered popular outrage, appellate judges said they believed the killer’s claim to be gay – an assertion he did not make until after his first attempt to block deportation had failed – and concluded he would be in danger if forced to return to Jamaica. Violating the island’s anti-sodomy law carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

The killer, an illegal immigrant whose identity has not been disclosed, came to Britain in December 2000 at age 15 on a temporary visa to see his mother. Although his application to stay  was rejected, he defied the decision and remained in the country.

The Jamaican, listed in public records as “JR,” and another youth were later convicted of killing Abdul Maye, a 15-year-old student whose family had fled Somalia’s civil war six years earlier. Abdul, who reportedly owed the pair money, was stabbed to death outside his east London school on Dec. 7, 2001 as horrified classmates watched. 

In September 2002, JR was sentenced to “life” behind bars for the slaying, with the stipulation that he serve at least eight years and two months and face deportation upon release.

In June 2012,  JR was released from prison after serving 10 years. Since then, Home Secretary Theresa May has sought to deport him. She conceded that if JR were actually gay, he could not legally be deported, but asserted his failure to make that claim earlier brought his credibility into question.

JR successfully appealed the decision to one judicial tribunal. A second tribunal overturned that decision before the Court of Appeal ruled in JR’s favor this week, citing Article Three in Britain's Human Rights Act, which protects people “from inhuman or degrading treatment”.

The Court of Appeal decision is drawing fire from Conservative Party members of Parliament, who argue that Britain’s interests are undermined by participation in the  European Convention on Human Rights, the driving force behind the Human Rights Act.

‘Until we have freed ourselves from the European Convention on Human Rights, these sorts of basket-case decisions will carry on happening,” said Conservative MP Douglas Carswell. “It’s a gross distortion of the concept of justice.”

Another Conservative MP, Peter Bone, added, “When it comes to murderers, courts should have the absolute right to sentence people for as long as they want or to send them home immediately after.”

Britain’s Home Office expressed disappointment with the decision and said it may appeal.

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A Jamaican national who stabbed a teenager to death less than a year after arriving in London cannot be deported because his homosexuality would put him in danger if sent back to his Caribbean home, Britain’s Court of Appeal has ruled.
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2014-17-17
Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 06:17 PM
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