Yaqub Ahmed, then 19, was one of a gang of four men jailed for luring a teenage girl back to a Crouch End flat and gang raping her ten years ago [File photo]
The Somali rapist whose deportation was halted by a mutiny of plane passengers demanding his release has cost taxpayers at least £300,000 in legal and jail costs.
Yaqub Ahmed, 29, was being kicked out of Britain for his sickening crime when sympathetic holidaymakers at Heathrow heard his protests and forced Home Office guards to take him off the jet.
Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal he has been involved in three separate criminal cases and three asylum tribunal hearings, all funded by Legal Aid, as well as spending at least five years in jail.
As a result, the MoS estimates taxpayers have spent at least £300,000 on Ahmed – and that figure is rising. He is still being held in an Immigration Removal Centre more than a fortnight after the failed deportation – at a cost of at least £1,500 – while officials try again to fly him out.
Ahmed was first granted indefinite leave to remain as a refugee in Britain after arriving from Somalia aged 14 in 2003.
Legal documents reveal that, in September 2007, he was sentenced to 21 days in a Young Offenders Institution for an assault on a police constable and fined for being drunk and disorderly. Court and detention costs are likely to have topped £4,000.
Yaqub Ahmed, centre, during the confrontation on the Turkish Airlines flight at Heathrow last month. The Mail On Sunday estimates taxpayers have spent at least £300,000 on Ahmed – and that figure is rising
In August 2008, he was jailed for nine years for his role in the brutal gang-rape of a teenage girl.
Ahmed and three friends – one later killed fighting for IS in Syria – preyed on the vulnerable 16-year-old on a night out in the West End and lured her back to a flat in North London where they assaulted her.
Despite overwhelming evidence, Ahmed denied rape and his trial is likely to have cost close to £20,000. His years spent behind bars would have cost at least £150,000.
In jail, Ahmed asked an accomplice to smuggle a mobile phone in for him and he was given a six-month concurrent sentence in July 2015, costing another £1,000 in court costs alone.
In all three cases, Ahmed received Legal Aid. The Ministry of Justice said it could not say how much his lawyers – including a barrister in the rape case – were paid but those in similar long-running cases earned at least £100,000.
The Home Office told Ahmed in May 2010 he was liable to be deported after his release because of the seriousness of his offence, and in February 2015, he was finally issued with a deportation order.
His solicitors – Paragon Law in Nottingham – appealed against the decision. At the First-Tier tribunal, a judge dismissed Ahmed’s challenge. Such hearings cost at least £1,000 excluding Legal Aid, say experts.
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
Ahmed’s lawyers then appealed, claiming Judge Colyer ‘conducted the hearing unfairly’ and that his reasoning was ‘confused and unclear’.
They particularly objected to the judge saying Ahmed was not a ‘credible witness’, that he had ‘significant doubts about the truthfulness’ of his story, and that Ahmed was ‘at risk of further reoffending’.
At another hearing before the Upper Tribunal in October 2016 – costing at least another £1,000 – judge Clive Lane ruled there had been an ‘error in law’ in the earlier hearing and ordered another case before the First-Tier Tribunal, which was due to be heard last December.
Yet before the hearing took place, Ahmed’s lawyers withdrew the case, for reasons unknown.
Ahmed was therefore put on a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul on October 9, in an enforced removal officially estimated to cost £15,000, before passengers intervened.
Last night the Home Office said it could not comment on Ahmed’s case.