Yaqub Ahmed (pictured) was part of a gang who subjected a 16-year-old girl to a terrifying rape ordeal
A vile rapist who escaped deportation after a mutiny by plane passengers made an audacious bid to escape justice and is now pleading to be allowed to stay in Britain because of a ‘deterioration’ in his mental health.
Somalian Yaqub Ahmed should have been deported last October, but a revolt by people on an aircraft who were unaware of his brutal crime scuppered his removal.
The 30-year-old, who was part of a gang who subjected a 16-year- old girl to a terrifying rape ordeal, has since frustrated Home Office attempts to kick him out, and he was last week denied bail from a detention centre at an immigration hearing.
The Mail on Sunday can today reveal that:
- After being granted bail in March, Ahmed removed an electronic tag and was caught trying to flee Britain;
- His lawyers say he should not be deported, after telling doctors he feels suicidal and depressed;
- His victim described the continuing delay to his deportation as ‘ridiculous and disgusting’;
- The rapist is applying for a judicial review and still denies his appalling crime.
Yaqub Ahmed (centre) during the confrontation on the Turkish Airlines flight at Heathrow last Tuesday. The security guards who halted the deportation of the gang rapist after being heckled by a group of plane passengers have come under fire
The hour-long bail tribunal hearing last week revealed the lengths to which Ahmed has gone to avoid deportation to Somalia and the extraordinary legal wranglings involved in moving convicted foreign criminals out of Britain.
Ahmed’s case has come to symbolise the impotence of the immigration system and new figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday show that, while 3,968 foreign criminals were served with deportation orders last year, 1,803 lodged legal appeals, meaning they will stay in Britain until their cases are heard.
Another 397 foreign criminals appealed against removal in the first three months of this year.
Ahmed was convicted in August 2008 with three other men of the rape of the teenager and jailed for nine years.
The woman was lured to a flat and held down while the men took turns to rape her.
Ahmed was first told in 2010 that he was liable for deportation but appealed against his removal and was not actually put on to a plane until last October.
But the bid to get him out of Britain ended when fellow passengers on a flight to Turkey took pity on Ahmed and intervened before their aircraft left Heathrow.
Officials escorting Yaqub Ahmed on a flight from Heathrow to Turkey were forced to abandon his deportation when around a dozen holidaymakers who felt sorry for him angrily intervened shortly before take-off (pictured on the flight)
In a video of the incident, Ahmed is heard screaming as passengers shout: ‘Take him off the plane!’
Ahmed was bound for Istanbul from where he would have travelled on to Somalia.
The heavy-set criminal appeared at his bail hearing in Feltham, South West London, last Monday.
During his application for bail from the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire, the tribunal heard he still denies the rape.
His barrister Mark Allison revealed that Ahmed, who was granted refugee status in the UK in 2003, was applying for a judicial review of his case and had told a psychiatrist, Dr Nuwan Galappathie, that he was suffering from ‘mental trauma’.
Dr Galappathie has filed a report which Home Office lawyer Matthew Williams said ‘is being treated as a request to revoke the deportation order’.
The tribunal heard how Ahmed had previously tried to commit suicide on more than one occasion.
Dr Galappathie was said to have assessed that he was suffering from a ‘depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder’.
Mr Williams said Ahmed alleged that he was not cared for in Yarl’s Wood and ‘doesn’t trust the mental health staff’ because ‘their loyalties lie with the Home Office’.
In another extraordinary new claim, it emerged Ahmed now says that he was a victim of modern slavery before he entered the UK.
He is said to have told Dr Galappathie that he was once kidnapped and worked ‘for a neighbour shining shoes for two years without pay’. It was unclear where this was supposed to have taken place.
Ahmed’s barrister said Dr Galappathie’s report linked the ‘previous history of trauma to the current diagnosis’ and that this was a ‘barrier to removal’ as he required mental health treatment.
The claim outraged Ahmed’s victim, who is now 27 and has battled with post traumatic stress disorder triggered by her rape.
‘It’s ridiculous – his mental health is being put above mine,’ she said last night.
‘It’s absolutely disgusting and I’m appalled that he is using this excuse to try and avoid deportation.
‘I’ve been told that I would benefit from seeing a specialist but I can’t privately fund treatment and the NHS doesn’t have the resources available that I need.
I am currently without any mental health support, yet he has been assessed by a specialist psychiatrist. He thinks things have been tough. Well he should have lived my life these last few years.’
The bid to get him out of Britain ended when fellow passengers on a flight to Turkey took pity on Ahmed and intervened before their aircraft left Heathrow
The Home Office’s lawyer said the claim of modern slavery was designed to ‘frustrate’ the deportation process.
It is understood that anyone referred to the authorities as a potential victim of slavery must have their case examined by a specialist in a process that takes 45 days.
During that time they cannot be removed from the country.
Astonishingly, it also emerged during the hearing that Ahmed, who was granted bail in March and was living with his brother in Liverpool, was detained again soon afterwards because he breached the conditions of his release by trying to flee the country.
On April 15, four weeks after his release on bail, he removed his electronic tag and attempted to board a ferry from Liverpool to Belfast.
He was caught by police officers and the Home Office claim he was found with a Spanish passport and admitted planning to travel on to Dublin then Spain.
£330,000 and counting: the bill for keeping this brute in Britain
Twelve years of criminal trials, prison costs and immigration cases involving Somalian rapist Yaqub Ahmed have saddled the taxpayer with an estimated bill of £330,000.
The 30-year-old has been involved in three separate criminal cases and at least five asylum tribunal hearings, all funded by Legal Aid.
He has also spent nine years in prison or immigration detention centres. The five years that he spent behind bars for rape and conspiracy to rape would have cost at least £150,000.
The cost of detaining him since an attempt to deport him failed last October is estimated to be more than £29,000, equivalent to £100 per day.
The bill for housing and monitoring him after his release on bail for a month earlier this year is not yet known.
He was detained again in April after attempting to escape to Ireland.
Meanwhile, new figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday show more than £37,000 has been paid in legal aid to solicitors and barristers who have represented Ahmed between August 2007, when he committed the rape, and this April. A total of £28,893 was paid for his legal team during the 2008 rape trial – £16,515 to his solicitors and £11,379 to his barrister.
His latest lawyers got £4,300 for making a further asylum application.
Additional costs will include this month’s bail application and costs of investigating his claims that he now has a mental illness and is a victim of modern slavery.