Legal experts question crucial decision which allows Sudanese Muslim child abuser, Jumaa Kater Saleh, to stay in Britain and get additional compensation even after running up a £350,000 bill for the taxpayer.
UK Telegraph The Home Office and the justice system are facing new questions about their handling of a paedophile failed asylum seeker, who is poised to receive a large compensation cheque from the taxpayer. Jumaa Kater Saleh, who sexually abused a 13-year-old schoolgirl, was told by senior judges that he is entitled to a pay-out for the way the Home Office treated him.
An investigation by The Telegraph today raises significant questions about Saleh’s case, and exposes how he has repeatedly played the system to stay in this country.
Inquiries by this newspaper have found how:
• Saleh, 25, has already cost the taxpayer at least £350,000 since he came to Britain hidden in the back of a lorry in 2004;
• An expert hired by Saleh’s own legal team has raised doubts over a previous ruling which allowed the Sudanese paedophile to stay here indefinitely;
• At least nine judges have been involved in cases brought against and by Saleh, who used legal aid, and who was told by one: “By your conduct, this country becomes less safe.”
Saleh’s case was put into the spotlight last week when three judges, led by the Master of the Rolls, the second most senior member of the English judiciary, ruled that he must be paid compensation for having his human rights breached by being detained after his prison sentence expired, as the Home Office tried to deport him.
His payout has not yet been agreed but he could receive tens of thousands of pounds based on previous, similar cases. The father of Saleh’s victim, who can only be identified as “A” for legal reasons, last night criticized the judges’ “crazy” decision. He said his daughter would always be “scarred” by her ordeal, adding: “My daughter has received nothing for what she went through, yet he stands to get thousands.
“He was a paedophile preying on young girls, yet he was only locked up for two years. What does he have to be compensated for? “Why should someone who has committed this sort of crime be allowed to receive any sort of compensation? The worst of it is that as taxpayers, me and her mother are paying for him to go through the court system and then we’ll end up contributing through our taxes to any compensation he gets – the man who did this to our girl.”
At least nine judges have been involved in dealing with Saleh’s case during at least five separate hearings in courts and tribunals, including two that went to the Court of Appeal.
Costs in Saleh’s case have included a trial estimated to have cost more than £100,000; £20,000 in asylum support costs and more than £200,000 to keep him detained, firstly in jail and then in an immigration centre. The judge in his criminal trial said the total cost of interpreters alone was £25,000.
Saleh was in a gang of five men who entrapped three disturbed and vulnerable girls, aged 13 and 14, in Kent in 2007. The men were each convicted of sexual activity with a child in 2008. Saleh was sentenced to four years at a young offenders’ institution.
At Maidstone Crown Court, Judge Martin Joy said: “No doubt, you came to this country because you regarded it as a safe country. However, by your conduct, this country becomes less safe.”
Saleh was subject to “automatic deportation” under border laws, but he appealed against deportation. In 2011, an immigration tribunal decided it would breach the European Convention of Human Rights to deport him, as he would face persecution if he returned to Sudan.
New information uncovered by The Telegraph has cast doubt on the tribunal’s conclusions. Peter Verney, a Sudan expert, was hired by Saleh’s lawyers and gave evidence on Saleh’s membership of the persecuted Zaghawa clan. But last week he said he had significant doubts about the case.
A spokesman for the Home Office said it was “looking at all options including appealing” and that it was “extremely disappointed with the court’s decision”.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are looking at all options including appealing. We are extremely disappointed with the court’s decision. We believe it is right that dangerous individuals are kept in detention, wherever possible, in order to protect the public. “We will continue to seek to deport individuals who show a complete disregard for the laws of this country.”