Somali rapist rants that he is an ‘innocent man’ in court and vows to stay in Britain a year after his deportation was blocked by protesters
- Yaqub Ahmed, 30, convicted in 2008 and jailed for nine years for rape of girl, 16
- Ahmed was almost deported last month, but his removal is now on hold
- In court he shouted at a Mail on Sunday reporter saying he was an innocent man
Yaqub Ahmed, (pictured) 30, was convicted in 2008 and jailed for nine years for the rape of a girl, 16
A rapist who dodged deportation after a mutiny by plane passengers has launched a self-pitying rant in court during which he whined that he was the victim of a ‘miscarriage of justice’.
Heavy-set and dressed in a black jacket, Yaqub Ahmed last week struck a menacing figure as he bellowed at a reporter from The Mail on Sunday during a bail hearing.
His outburst is the first time the Somali has spoken publicly since his deportation was dramatically scuppered more than a year ago.
The 30-year-old was convicted in August 2008 and jailed for nine years for his part in a sickening gang rape of a 16-year-old girl.
He was almost deported last month, but his removal is now on hold until a decision is made on whether to have a judicial review.
During the hearing on Tuesday in Feltham, West London, Ahmed’s barrister Helen Foot said his mental health had deteriorated and he was unfit to fly. But Judge Margaret O’Keeffe refused bail, citing ‘conflicting evidence’ and pointing out that he continues to deny his crime.
Asked if he had anything to say, Ahmed replied: ‘I would like to state that I am truly innocent.’ Leaning over the top of the dock, he began shouting at the MoS reporter. ‘And for the media guy – my case is a case of miscarriage of justice,’ he bellowed.
The incident had echoes of the scenes on board a Turkish Airways flight in October 2018 when, on the brink of being deported, Ahmed began screaming before the aircraft took off from Heathrow for Istanbul, from where he would have travelled on to Somalia
‘I have not been given a chance to appeal against my conviction because of my financial state. I am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not commit. I will speak out. People will know the truth.’
The tirade ended when two guards bundled him from the courtroom and led him to a security van waiting to take him back to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire.
The incident had echoes of the scenes on board a Turkish Airways flight in October 2018 when, on the brink of being deported, Ahmed began screaming before the aircraft took off from Heathrow for Istanbul, from where he would have travelled on to Somalia.
Passengers, unaware of his brutal crime, revolted and demanded security guards take him off.
In a video of the incident, holidaymakers are heard clapping as the security guards frogmarched Ahmed off the plane, with one shouting: ‘You’re free, man!’
Ms Foot denied the deportation had been blocked due to Ahmed’s disruptive behaviour. ‘What in fact happened was the passengers objected to him being removed because he was very obviously unwell at the time,’ she said.
The court heard that Ahmed’s grounds for a judicial review included psychiatric evidence that he posed a ‘high suicide risk’. Ms Foot said he had twice tried to take his own life and that his poor mental health meant he would be unable to find a job in Somalia and would ‘end up being destitute’.
Dr Nuwan Galappathie, a psychiatrist, was said to have assessed that the risk of Ahmed committing further sex attacks had reduced ‘as a result of his long prison sentence’.
Ahmed’s latest attempt to stay in the UK also includes a claim that he was the victim of ‘trafficking and slavery’ in 2002-03 when he was a teenager in Somalia. But Judge O’Keeffe refused bail, ruling that there was a ‘real risk’ that Ahmed would fail to comply with conditions if he was released.
Ahmed, who was first told he was liable for deportation in 2010, was released on bail in March but detained again soon afterwards because he ripped off an electronic tag and attempted to flee the country. He was caught trying to board a ferry from Liverpool to Belfast. The Home Office claims that he was planning to travel on to Dublin and then Spain.
Twelve years of criminal trials, prison costs and immigration cases involving Ahmed, who receives legal aid, have cost taxpayers more than £330,000.