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Foreign criminal deported to Morocco on seventh attempt after Home Office farce makes national headlines

July 31, 2018

DEPORTED: Home Office 'secret' deportation flights often leave at night (picture: Opendemocracy.net)

A FOREIGN criminal who avoided deportation six times after a series of Home Office blunders has now been sent home.

El Mehdi Arjdal, 32, was sent back to Morocco on a Home Office charter flight on Sunday, according to his solicitor.

It was revealed in the Sunday Express that the previous attempt to deport him on a similar flight was stopped after he put razor blades in his mouth, meaning security guards refused to restrain him for fear of his mouth being cut to ribbons.

A hearing at Hatton Cross Immigration Tribunal Hearing Centre last week was told the crook, who also uses the alias Mehdi Alfarhane, has had 14 criminal convictions for 24 offences since sneaking into the country illegally on an unknown date.

After being first detected by immigration officials on January 11 2009, he said he was making a second claim for asylum.

Details of the efforts to remove Arjdal, and his own bids to remain here, were revealed as he applied for release on bail from an immigration detention centre at the hearing via a video link.

BLUNDER: Home Office errors led to four deportation attempts failing 

The tribunal heard the first attempt to deport him was made on soon after he was discovered in 2009, but he absconded while on bail and went on to commit a number of crimes, while also making his first asylum claim.

The asylum claim was later rejected as completely unfounded, but the next four attempts to deport him failed due to Home Office blunders, the tribunal heard.

Tribunal Judge VMD Fox said: "Removal directions have been defeated on six occasions, four of which were due to administrative issues for the respondent. In one case there was no medic available, another time he was given no ticket.

"A new asylum claim has yet to be put to the respondent."

The tribunal heard if he had been given bail, the Home Office had offered him specially funded accommodation and financial assistance.

Barrister Katie Ayres, who represented Arjdal on a pro-bono basis, said: "He has been offered Home Office accommodation in Glasgow and wants the opportunity to prove himself. He has a section four grant which is a privilege as they are not handed out anymore and he wants to take advantage of that."

Section four grants include accommodation and a pre-paid payment card or full-board accommodation for failed asylum seekers considered destitute 

DEMO: Hatton Cross immigration tribunal centre has seen deportation protests (pic: Wordpress.com) 

Miss Ayres argued he should have been allowed bail ahead of his new asylum bid as he has been detained for 15 months, and so he can make a fresh start in the provided housing.

She said: "It is equivalent to a 30-month prison sentence. Detention should be no more than three months, or six months in extreme circumstances, this is nearly treble that

Arjdal is not the first illegal immigrant to put razor blades in his mouth to avoid deportation.

In March 2017 two criminals who were being deported to Jamaica did it before a flight.

carrying 32 detainees from Stansted Airport in Essex took off.

Unlike Arjdal, the two men were talked into handing over the razor blades on the plane and were deported.

A Home Office spokesman refused to comment on the blunders that led to Arjdal's failed deportations or on why he has an accommodation offer despite facing deportation.

He said: "Foreign nationals who commit crimes in the UK should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them.

"Deportations have to be cancelled on some occasions because of a number of matters such as further appeals and flight disruptions.

"The Home Office agreed to honour any applications made before the Section 4(1) repeal on 15 January 2018. Anyone with an outstanding application should continue to receive accommodation unless and until a decision is made that they are not qualified to receive it."

 

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