A Jamaican convicted criminal who successfully fought his deportation after being released from prison has been charged with murder.
The man was due to be deported in February after serving a six-year jail sentence for possessing a gun, ammunition and drugs. However, it is understood he claimed his deportation was a breach of his rights and he was removed from a flight to Jamaica.
Within eight months, he was charged with the murder of a young man, attempted murder and the possession of a banned weapon.
The disclosure came as the Home Office on Monday faced demands from the Labour Party in the Commons and from campaigners to halt a deportation flight to Jamaica on Wednesday of up to 50 foreign criminals released from jail.
It is likely to inflame the row over “activist lawyers” – lawyers that Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, claim are thwarting efforts to deport and remove foreign criminals and failed asylum seekers with spurious last-minute appeals.
Chris Philp, the minister for immigration compliance and the courts, told MPs the 50 Jamaican criminals’ offences include murder, rape, manslaughter, drug dealing, child sexual abuse, grievous bodily harm and firearms possession.
He said they posed a danger to the public, having spent a total of 228 years in jail plus one with a life sentence, and that their deportation was vital to protect the public, adding: “These are serious offences which have a real and lasting impact on the victims and on communities. This flight is about criminality, not nationality.”
As Conservative MPs called for “activist lawyers” to be prevented from stopping flights at the last minute, Mr Philp revealed that one murderer jailed for life had already successfully mounted a late legal challenge to avoid deportation on Wednesday.
It is understood a drug dealer has also appealed against his deportation amid fears within the Home Office that the number to be deported could be substantially reduced by similar last-minute legal challenges.
Mr Philp said: “We do find that there are last-minute claims made often immediately before removal or deportation, often 24 hours in advance – even though there has been plenty of opportunity previously – apparently with the expressed intention of frustrating the process.
“There is also opportunity for people to raise repeated claims, in sequence, sometimes over a period of many years, in a manner that would appear to me to be potentially vexatious. That is something I think the Government does need to act to sort out, and we do intend to legislate next year to close precisely these problematic areas.”
The deportation flight has already drawn criticism from 82 black public figures including model, actress and businesswoman Naomi Campbell, historian David Olusoga and actors Naomie Harris and Thandie Newton, who have written to airlines urging them not to carry the Jamaicans the Home Office wants to deport.
A similar flight to Jamaica earlier this year to deport 50 criminals including a killer, two rapists and seven violent criminals was halted at the 11th hour following an emergency ruling by the Court of Appeal.
Holly Lynch, the shadow minister of state for immigration, said the Labour Party had “no faith” that the Government had “done its due diligence” on the people it was seeking to deport to ensure it was justified, lawful and not a further chapter in the Windrush scandal.
“Of course, we recognise that those who engage in violent and criminal acts must face justice, but we also hear that at least one person on that flight has a Windrush generation grandfather,” she said.
“Another whose great aunt was on the HMT Windrush, another whose grandfather fought in the Second World War for Britain. It’s clear that we have not yet established just how far the consequences of the Windrush injustice extend.”
The Windrush scandal began to surface in 2017 after it emerged that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were from the “Windrush generation” – people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1973 – had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights.
Mr Philp said each case had been individually checked and “not a single person is eligible for Windrush compensation”.