Somali Gang Rapist Whose Deportation Was Blocked by Air Passengers to Be Freed

London Met Police

A convicted Somali gang rapist is to be released on bail after his deportation was blocked by airline passengers, who staged a revolt to block him from being sent back to his country.

Yaqub Ahmed, one of four men who gang-raped a 16-year-old girl in 2007, should be released from detention after being granted “bail in principle” despite the authorities acknowledging he poses a “real risk” to the public.

In announcing his release, Judge Margaret O’Keeffe acknowledged that there is a “real risk that he would commit offences if released on bail.”

“I am also satisfied that the applicant poses a risk of absconding. He failed to comply with bail conditions in the past and was caught attempting to leave the jurisdiction,” the judge admitted.

But she said that she was bound by guidance for immigration judges which limits the government’s ability to detain someone for more than six months before they are deported.

“I have to take into account that there is currently no realistic prospect of his removal to Somalia and it cannot be said that his removal is imminent. There is simply no way to know when the position will change in relation to international air travel,” the judge concluded, referring to the effects of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

In August 2007, Ahmed was a part of a group of four men who lured a 16-year-old girl back to their flat by telling her that her friends were waiting for her there. Once the men had brought her back to their flat, the men took turns raping the teenage girl.

She was eventually saved by neighbours who phoned the police after hearing her cries for help.

Ahmed received just nine years for his part in the attack, and released on licence after serving four years behind bars.

In March of 2019, the Somali rapist was detained again after he removed his electronic tag and attempted to flee to Spain to avoid deportation.

The victim of the gang rape called his release “disgraceful”.

“I am so sick of it. I just want it to be over but it’s never-ending. I think it’s disgraceful,” she said.

The judge in the case said that his upcoming release will be dependent on the Home Office providing him accommodation and that if housing isn’t provided within 14 days he will remain in detention. Ahmed’s release may also be reversed if the rapist loses his appeal against deportation — a decision that is expected to be announced in the coming days.

The authorities are not known to have taken any action against the air passengers who prevented his deportation from going ahead.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka


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