This is Bristol
Sunday, March 18, 2012
A SEX offender has prevented the Home Office from deporting him to Somalia – and is now trying to claim compensation.
Bashir Barrow, 51, who is living in a council flat in Strawbridge
Road, Barton Hill, won a crucial round of his taxpayer-funded fight for
compensation from the Home Office for time spent in "unlawful
One of Bristol's leading politicians has described the latest court decision as a "shameful disgrace".
Barrow was jailed for indecent assault 10 years ago – but
government attempts to send him back to his home country have been
thwarted ever since.
He was due to be flown to Somalia in May 2008 but the European
Court of Human Rights ruled that sending him back would violate his
Judges in London have now ordered that the High Court should hear
his compensation demands for alleged unlawful detention as attempts
were made to deport him.
The decision has been attacked by the leader of the Conservative
group on Bristol City Council, Peter Abraham, who said: "I must say I am
getting increasingly concerned that not only the European courts but
also our own courts appear to take decisions that are not in the
interests of the people of this country and their safety.
"Very often now we are having decisions overtaken in courts by
judicial reviews. A few years ago they were very rare, but now there are
hundreds waiting to be dealt with.
"The High Court is taking decisions away from the lower courts
that possibly have heard things in more detail and look at the real
situations as they exist.
"In this case it appears the man is a pest and has abused everything that we stand for.
He added: "He should be sent back to his own country. Let them deal with him.
"It is absolutely shameful, disgracefully shameful. Why should he
profit from the crime that he has committed? That is what is being
The High Court heard Barrow was refused asylum shortly after his arrival in the UK in 1995, but was later allowed to stay.
In 2003 he was jailed for a year for indecent assault, theft and
breaching a community order, and, after convictions for driving
offences, he was sent back to jail in 2007 for breaching the terms of a
suspended sentence, the court heard.
The Home Office wanted to deport him after his first term behind
bars, but only managed to detain him after he finished his second prison
stretch in June 2007.
Barrow then turned up drunk to an immigration appeal later that year and his hearing had to be delayed.
Despite failing to overturn his deportation order at the appeal,
he was not put on the plane after the European Court of Human Rights in
May 2008 forbade Britain from sending him back because of conditions in
Barrow was granted bail from an immigration centre in September
2009, when a judge ruled that – although he was "a pest" – his further
detention was not justifiable.
Shivani Jegarajah, representing Barrow at London's Civil Appeal
Court, argued that his criminal record was "not serious" and he should
have been released soon after the European Court ruling.
She said: "In all the circumstances, the detention was plainly unlawful and could not and cannot be justified."
After hearing her arguments, Lord Justice Davis, sitting with Sir
John Thomas and Mr Justice Black, directed a full High Court review of
legally-aided Barrow's case, at which he will seek a declaration that
his detention was unlawful – as well as thousands of pounds in damages.