UK: Judges criticised for refusing to deport Jamaican killer over claims he’s gay
The Court of Appeal has been criticised for refusing to allow the Home Secretary to deport a Jamaican killer on the basis of his sexual orientation.
The 29-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was released from jail after the Court of Appeal said that sending him back to Jamaica would violate his human rights as a gay man.
Lord Justice Kay, sitting with Lord Justice Lewison and Sir Stanley Burnton at the Court of Appeal, cited Article Three in the Human Rights Act, which protects against inhuman or degrading treatment.
The Home Office said it was “extremely disappointed” with the court’s decision and was considering an appeal.
The man, referred to only as JR, was “party to murder” at the age of 16 when he and another schoolboy knifed Abdul Maye, 15, to death over a £10 debt outside Little Ilford Comprehensive School in Manor Park, Newham, east London, in 2001.
He was sentenced to detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure in September 2002, and was freed from prison in June 2012.
Officials have called into question whether the man, referred to only as JR, is actually gay.
The Home Office argued his eleventh hour assertion of homosexuality should have been rejected “on credibility grounds” as “he had made no mention of it” during a previous asylum application.
Conservative MP Nick de Bois said: “I have no doubt that the British public would back the Home Secretary on this one.”
Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the government had a “problem” removing foreign national prisoners and called on the Home Office to urgently clarify what constitutes acceptable evidence in cases where sexual orientation is an issue.
In March, Home Secretary Theresa May announced a review of how cases are handled, following sustained claims that LGBT asylum seekers are regularly being deported back to countries where they face persecution.
Mrs May said: “It was disappointing therefore to discover that we may not have followed our guidance in at least one case, which was brought to the attention of the media recently and where inappropriate questions appear to have been asked.”