Thursday, February 16, 2017
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
- A child rapist who fled the UK before his trial has been jailed after being located
- Muhamed Avais originally flew to Pakistan a day before he was due in court
- He then went onto Abu Dhabi in January 2016 where he remained for over a year
- He made his whereabouts known by posting photos of himself in the city on social media
Muhamed Avais's mugshot. He had been living in Abu Dhabi since January 2016
A child rapist who fled the UK before his trial was caught by police who tracked him down to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates after he posted pictures of himself in the city on social media.
Muhamed Avais, 50, fled the UK a day before he was due to stand trial in August 2015 for a string of vile sex attacks against a schoolgirl.
He was convicted of 19 offences of rape and sexual assault in his absence.
Avais fled to Pakistan on the eve of his trial at Stoke-on-Trent before spending 18 months on the run.
He was finally arrested after Staffordshire Police tracked him down to an address in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.
Detectives found him the Middle Eastern nation's capital after he posted pictures of himself on social media-giving away his location.
He was flown back to the UK and on Friday he was jailed for a total of 20 years.
Judge David Fletcher said: 'These were horrific allegations against a very young girl.'
Avais, formerly of Etruria, Staffordshire, was also ordered to remain on the sex offenders' register for life.
A handcuffed Muhamed Avais after his arrest on Thursday. He was convicted of 19 offences of rape while in hiding in Abu Dhabi
Avais had been charged with 13 offences of raping a child under 13, three counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and three charges of a serious sexual offence against a child.
The sex offences were committed between March 2004 and March 2012.
But he skipped bail just one day before his trial.
Staffordshire Police's fugitive unit traced Avais to the United Arab Emirates where border checks confirmed he had been since January 2016.
Photographs were then found on Avais social media taken of him in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Tim Faux said: 'I welcome the long sentence given.
'It sends out a very strong message that this type of horrific offending will not be tolerated and should serve as a stark warning to all criminals who attempt to avoid jail. You will be caught eventually.
'Avais may have evaded going to prison initially but our determination to locate him and bring him back was steadfast.
'He was not going to escape punishment.
'I am full of praise for the victim, who has shown incredible bravery to report this is very difficult circumstances and has remained courageous throughout the entire process.
'Without the victim's bravery and commitment Muhamed Avais would not be behind bars and would be free to continue to abuse children.'
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Historical facts and Comparisons: How many times Muslims invaded Europe vs. Europeans invaded Muslim countries.
Islamics Launched their Crusades in 630 A.D. Western Crusades started in 1095 A.D. to Stop Muslim Invasion. Crusades were a defensive action against the forcible expansion of Islam into territories that had been part of Christendom for centuries.
The Crusades were started by the Muslims in the year 630 A.D. when Muhammad invaded and conquered Mecca. Later on, Muslims invaded Syria, Iraq, Jerusalem, Iran, Egypt, Africa, Spain, Italy, France, etc.
The Western Crusades started around 1095 to try to stop the Islamic aggressive invasions. Islamic Crusades continued even after the Western Crusade. Islam has killed about 270 million people: 120 million Africans*, 60 million Christians, 80 million Hindus, 10 million Buddhists, etc.
- Countless foreigners fighting to remain in the UK at Britain's biggest asylum and immigration appeals centre, Taylor House in central London
- Automatic anonymity is now given in all asylum-seekers’ appeals
- In other immigration appeals based on human rights grounds, claimants can simply download a form from a government website requesting secrecy
- Even those who don’t request this often find the judge steps in at the first sight of the Press and grants an anonymity order anyway
- Disturbingly, the Ministry of Justice admitted it does not publish how many non-asylum immigration appeals are heard in this secretive way
Wearing polished shoes and sharply pressed grey trousers, the 52-year-old Nigerian is desperate to stay in this country and work as a security guard. He speaks perfect English and his younger girlfriend is a British citizen.
I met him, one of countless foreigners fighting to remain in the UK, a week ago at Britain’s busiest asylum and immigration appeals centre, Taylor House in Central London.
He has been living in the UK since 2002 and is challenging — for the third time — Home Office attempts to send him back to Africa. Shaking his head, he told me: ‘This system is crazy.’
Zenab H. from Syria waits for an appeal hearing to begin in a hearing room at the Higher Administrative Court. (L-R) Translator Kameran Bisarani, Zenab, and Lawyer Kirsten Hanke
Although the Nigerian, whom we will call Patrick, is happy to speak openly about the case and to be identified, he is prevented from doing so.
This is because, towards the end of a two-hour hearing, the judge suddenly announced that details of the case can’t be reported in the Press. The man’s name, where he lives, and any other snippet that might identify him or his loved ones can’t be made public.
Why? According to the female judge, Patrick’s girlfriend’s six-year-old son, who has been mentioned in the hearing, must be protected.
Secrecy rules in asylum and immigration appeals (mostly inspired by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights — ‘the right to respect for private and family life’ — and ardently adhered to in the UK) stipulate that, as a child, his identity must be kept secret.
At first glance, this might seem a sensible decision to safeguard the youngster. But the boy is not Patrick’s biological son and doesn’t have his surname. The couple have an on-off relationship and have rarely lived together (according to evidence from Home Office officials, who insist Patrick should leave this country).
In truth, there is little to link him directly to the child, although the judge was deciding — bizarrely — whether Patrick’s ‘relationship’ with the girlfriend and her son meant his rights to a family life would be breached if he was sent home.
Welcome to the crazy — to use the Patrick’s own description — world of Britain’s secretive courts.
For years, the Mail has campaigned against an increasing and insidious assault on open justice. We have highlighted controversial decisions made about children and pensioners in the equally shadowy Family Court and Court of Protection.
Of course, anonymity is important to protect people from potential harm or for reasons of national security, but the creeping number of anonymised hearings in our overwhelmed asylum and immigration appeals system is a scandal. For without transparency, the truth about who is being let into this country and why is hidden from the public.
I was told recently by a whistle-blower who works at Taylor House that secrecy is becoming the norm.
Even foreigners with blatantly bogus stories, criminal records, or pose a potential danger to society can stay under the radar.
Automatic anonymity is now given in all asylum-seekers’ appeals. In other immigration cases, where asylum is not a factor, a migrant can simply download a form from a government website requesting anonymity.
The result is that thousands of foreigners appealing to remain in this country are actively encouraged to do so secretly.
Two immigration lawyers at Taylor House confirmed that it was now common practice for the Home Office not to challenge anonymity requests.
Even those, like Patrick, who don’t ask for privacy often find the judge steps in at the first sight of the press and orders it at a hearing anyway.
Not only are identities never known, but the public is never told the judges’ rulings — which are issued privately a few weeks after the hearing ends.
Disturbingly, the Ministry of Justice admitted this week that it does not publish how many non-asylum immigration appeals are heard in this secretive way.
However, official figures last month showed that almost 63,000 foreigners were awaiting appeals — an increase of 20 per cent on a year ago.
More specifically, the number of asylum-seekers claiming refuge in Britain because of their sexuality has rocketed by 450 per cent in five years.
These include 1,115 people who argue that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender means they would face discrimination if they returned to their home country.
Most were from Pakistan but they also came from Jamaica, Nigeria and Ghana.
Under the current rules, if any asylum-seeker starts an appeal against a Home Office decision to remove them, their file will immediately be marked ‘protection appeal’ and their details will be anonymised on all published paperwork and at hearings.
This secrecy covers all types of asylum-seeker: those who claim to have escaped slavery; those under 18 (although there is no testing in the UK to prove their age), or anyone who argues that they ‘risk harm’ if their identities are made public.
Under the current rules, if any asylum-seeker starts an appeal against a Home Office decision to remove them, their file will immediately be marked ‘protection appeal’ and their details will be anonymised on all published paperwork and at hearings
Even the names of relatives, friends or acquaintances connected with their case must be kept secret.
At Taylor House last week, a judge heard the case of a 19-year-old Afghan’s appeal. The youth claimed he risks attack by the Taliban if he returns home.
He argued that he was also at risk because he ran a TV and video shop, which was illegal in Afghanistan at the time he left in 2011.
Initially, he applied for asylum when his status as a child refugee expired in June 2015.
In evidence, the Home Office challenged the credibility of his account, saying there was no reason he could not live in the Afghan capital, Kabul, where he would not be recognised.
Yet at the end of the hearing, and following an inquiry from the Mail, Judge John McMahan imposed an anonymity order, saying: ‘As this is an asylum case, it should already have been under anonymity directions . . . he is an asylum-seeker and it is for his protection.’
This closed-doors culture betrays the principle that justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. It certainly runs counter to pledges from senior judges.
Recently, the Supreme Court Justice Lord Reed said that as most people get their information about court proceedings through the media, ‘it follows that the principle of open justice is inextricably linked to the freedom of the media’ to report on them.
Sadly, that was not the case when we monitored asylum appeals over a two-day period.
In Bradford, 31 appellants — from South Asia, North Africa and Iran — were granted anonymity. In the same 48 hours in Manchester, the number was 35. Several cases there involved individuals from the Middle East, from where it is feared that ISIS terrorists, posing as asylum-seekers, are travelling to Britain.
Similarly, at Taylor House over three days the names of 71 asylum-seekers were kept secret. (Almost routinely, when the Mail arrived at a hearing, the judges imposed anonymity orders on immigration cases as well.)
Anyone who breaks these secrecy orders, be they journalists, lawyers or members of the public, faces jail for contempt of court. Even the appellants, their relatives and friends are not allowed to talk about their cases outside the courthouse.
Unsurprisingly, these secrecy orders and the willingness of judges to grant them has angered MPs.
Sir Julian Brazier, MP for Canterbury, said: ‘This is a clear example of European human rights laws creating a change in part of our justice system. Secretive hearings are completely contrary to this country’s long-held principles of open justice.’
And fellow Tory Philip Davies (Shipley, Yorkshire) agreed: ‘[It] builds up resentment among British people by creating suspicion that those appealing to live here are trying to stop someone digging up something that undermines their case.’
Even those dealing daily with the hearings are critical.
One Home Office official at Taylor House told us the system is widely exploited. He pointed out a recent rise in the number of people claiming to be gay.
This, he said, was because sexuality is hard to prove, as European human rights laws prohibit intimate questioning of asylum-seekers on such matters. Last year the Home Office issued a 40-page directive warning its staff.
The official said: ‘The British judicial system is being laughed at. This country is an easy place to come and say the “right thing” — for instance, that you are gay and from a homophobic nation — so you get to remain here.’
He cited instances of asylum-seekers, about to be deported on other grounds, playing what he called ‘the gay card’ at the last minute.
‘I even had one case where a guy with five children claimed to be gay and told the judge he only ever had sex with a woman those five times.’
While investigating appeal cases at Taylor House, we came across a 17-year-old Algerian boy who claimed that if he was sent home he would be killed.
He said that on a visit to Algiers last year to retrieve his identity documents, he was attacked by a family member who accused him of trying to steal part of the family inheritance.
The evidence was being heard in open court until a Mail reporter entered the room. An application was immediately made by the boy’s solicitor for an anonymity order.
This was duly granted by the judge, forbidding the Press from disclosing any meaningful details about his seemingly rather imaginative story.
So the wheels of secret ‘justice’ roll on.
Anyone who breaks these secrecy orders, be they journalists, lawyers or members of the public, faces jail for contempt of court
Our reporters watched as a 27-year-old Ethiopian woman claimed asylum, citing discrimination back home because she was a member of the Oroma tribe (who make up nearly half the country’s 100 million population, and are opposed to the government).
However, the hearing was told that she failed to give examples of the type of persecution her people had suffered, and couldn’t understand her ‘native’ language.
Meanwhile, a Bengali-speaker from Bangladesh sought asylum, claiming he was being persecuted by his government because of his affiliation with a student political group, the Bangladesh Chhatra League. He had been arrested twice, but was released the second time after just two days to resume his life.
Under the rules, he was given complete anonymity.
Another immigrant, claiming to be 19, argued he should not be sent back to Afghanistan because he was involved in a land ownership dispute with an uncle.
He had given two names and three dates of birth when he first tried to claim asylum in Austria (which refused him entry, saying he was an adult) before arriving in Britain illegally in the back of a lorry in 2013
A secrecy order was imposed by the judge on the basis of the applicant’s age, health issues and need ‘for protection’.
His lawyers claimed he was suffering from post-stress and psychological problems because of a lengthy delay over his hearing.
Challenging his story, Gabrielle McAvock, of the Home Office, said UK college reports showed he was a ‘hard-working, conscientious and calm student’ with a supportive family back in Afghanistan.
Yet another Afghan asylum-seeker was accused of faking a relationship with a Polish woman and pretending to be the father of her baby son so he would stay in the UK.
In 2009, when he claimed to be an unaccompanied child of 17, he was allowed to remain. He is now apparently 23, and exceptionally bald for his age. Suspicions about his story were raised because he was unable to provide the baby’s birth certificate (which would have named him as the father).
But because his case is secret, we cannot tell you who he is or make the slightest attempt to investigate whether what he says is true.
Amid this bedlam, I watched as Patrick, from Nigeria, greeted his girlfriend’s son when the lad ran into his arms during a break in his hearing. Patrick says he loves the boy as his own child. If proof were needed that this is a real relationship, that cuddle appeared to be it.
Patrick told me he can’t work in the UK because he is here illegally. He said he despaired that his appeal had been ‘going on for years’ and he isn’t allowed to earn a living.
Among what appear to be hundreds of asylum-seekers and immigrants at the hearings with dubious claims to stay in Britain, his was probably a genuine appeal.
But we are not allowed to report the full details to let you, the reader, make up your own mind.
Monday, February 06, 2017
Teenager muttered 'Allah, Allah, Allah' after stabbing to death US tourist, 64, and wounding five others in bloody rampage in central London
- Zakaria Bulhan, who had moved to London from Norway with his Somali mother, killed an American tourist
- Prosecutors accept pleas to lesser charges and court hears he was suffering from a 'psychotic episode'
- Police ruled out fears the attack was terror-inspired after his history of mental health issues was examined
- Prosecutor says lack of mental health treatment after assessment in London was 'partly behind' attack
- Husband of woman killed says if schizophrenic is released to kill again 'the blood will be on our hands'
carried book telling Muslims to “die a shahid,”
Schizophrenic Zakaria Bulhan (left, as a boy and, right, in a court sketch) has admitted killing an American tourist during a knife rampage in London's Russell Square
A mentally-ill teenager who stabbed an American tourist to death and injured five others in a knife rampage in London's Russell Square was allowed into the UK by European freedom of movement rules, a court heard.
Norwegian national Zakaria Bulhan, 19, killed retired teacher Darlene Horton, 64, just hours before she was due to fly home to Tallahassee, Florida, after visiting the UK with her university professor husband Richard Wagner.
Bulhan's parents emigrated from Somalia to Norway in 1994 and he was born in the Scandinavian country three years later.
The second of three children, he moved to the UK with his mother in 2003 under free movement rules after being granted asylum in Norway.
Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), whose members share freedom of movement with the 28 countries of the EU.
Bulhan, who was living in south-west London at the time of the attack, denied murdering the mother-of-two, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility today.
Prosecutors have accepted that schizophrenic Bulhan was in the midst of a psychotic episode at the time after police ruled out a terrorist motive to the attack.
The court heard he was assessed by his local mental health trust on 20 April, but received no further treatment despite acting increasingly 'oddly' before the attack.
Bulhan struck just after 10.30pm on Wednesday 3 August in Russell Square, an area popular with tourists, after visiting the East London Mosque in Whitechapel.
Bulhan (left, as a boy and, right, in a court sketch today) had been brought to Britain from Norway by his Somali mother. He had been assessed by mental health services in London by received no treatment before he carried out the attack
Darlene Horton, from Florida, was in the UK with her husband, Richard Wagner, a visiting university professor, at the time
The knife rampage through the busy London square caused widespread shock in August with victims from around the world
The court heard he ran from the Mosque and was later seen moving erratically along the pavement at Russell Square, walking alongside the park railings and holding a large kitchen knife.
He 'smiled and skipped' towards his first victim before continuing the rampage with a 'crazed smile', the court heard.
Londoner Bernard Hepplewhite, 65, shouted in pain as he was stabbed in the abdomen, having travelled to the West End with a friend to see 'Showboat' on Drury Lane with a friend.
He said his attacker showed no sign of anger and simply skipped straight on towards Australian Lillie Sellentin, 23, who had been to see 'Aladdin' at the Prince Edward theatre and was making her way back to her hotel.
She thought she had been punched when she was struck to the right of her ribcage.
'He showed no emotion as he did so, but carried on moving in the same fashion,' said the prosecutor.
It was only when someone shouted 'he's got a knife' that they realised they had been stabbed before Mr Hepplewhite hailed a passing cab to take them to hospital.
Darlene Horton, 64, had eaten dinner with her husband, Richard Wagner, at a restaurant in Bloomsbury before the pair made their way back to where they were staying through Russell Square.
Mr Wagner said a black male rushed past them and as he did so his wife simply said: 'ouch.'
Mr Wagner described how Bulhan ran past them in a 'haphazard manner, swerving and loping towards members of the public'.
It was only then he saw the knife and warned others: 'This guy is trying to stab people.'
American Martin Hoenisch, 59, was the next to be targeted as Bulhan zig-zagged towards him and stabbed him in the chest.
He was on holiday with his wife and the pair had spent their first evening in London at a restaurant in Covent Garden.
David Imber, 40, who is Australian, had arrived in the UK for a holiday on 1 August and had been to see 'Kinky Boots' at the Adelphi Theatre.
He was also struck to the chest after Bulhan came straight towards him.
The prosecutor said: 'Mr Imber made brief eye contact and describes the male having a 'crazed smile' on his face as if he was enjoying it or that he was under the influence of drugs.'
Israeli Yovel Lewkowski, 18, was in London on a four-day holiday with her family and had spent the evening in the West End before she was knifed in the arm.
'She became considerably distressed, feeling overwhelmed and in a state of shock,' said Mr Heywood.
Bulhan today denied the attempted murder of Mr Hoenisch, Ms Selletin, Mr Imber, Mr Hepplewhite, and Ms Lewkowski.
But he pleaded guilty to alternative charges of wounding with intent after injuring them in the same attack.
Bulhan was carrying a copy of a book called the Fortress of the Muslims - a daily book of Islamic prayers - and was heard muttering 'Allah, Allah,' but a terrorist motive has been ruled out.
Bulhan was living with his mother, step-father and siblings at the time of attacks.
He left school aged 16 and retook his GCSEs at college before dropping out in April 2016 as his mental state deteriorated.
In March last year, he had been referred for treatment for his mental health and his behaviour became more odd leading up to August, the court heard.
Mr Heywood said the pleas were accepted by the Crown having been considered 'at the very highest level'.
He told the judge: 'At the time of these events it has been clearly established the defendant was suffering from an acute episode of a mental illness that has been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia.
'That acute episode was a psychotic one, and floridly so, at the time of these events on 3 August 2016.'
Bulhan was assessed by psychiatrists following his arrest on the night of the attack and held in Broadmoor secure hospital where doctors found he was fit to enter pleas.
He told a psychiatrist at Broadmoor he 'felt dreadful' about what he had done.
'I could never have predicted it, it's surreal,' he said. 'I did everything to stop myself becoming ill. I went to the psychiatrist, I went to the Mosque, I did prayers.'
The court heard an assessment on 20 April 2016 carried out by the East Wandsworth mental health trust found Bulhan was not currently psychotic, but had mood and anxiety symptoms that should be treated by his GP.
But his mother said he became more aggressive and she removed the knives from the kitchen following incidents in which he had a knife in the home and took her mobile phone.
He also thought people were putting spells on him when they spat in his direction, said the prosecutor.
Bulhan's father took him to the Mosque in Whitechapel on the day of the attack because he was ill.
But Bulhan ran away and later told a psychiatrist he believed someone blew on him and put spirits inside him.
The Old Bailey heard he also believed people were trying to kill him, the secret service was tracking him and he was possessed by demons.
Appearing in the dock wearing a grey zip-up jacket today, Bulhan spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear proceedings before entering his pleas.