Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Illegal immigrant jailed for ‘revolting’ sex attacks on Tube set to get £7,000 payout because he was kept in jail 'too long' while officials tried to deport him

  • Naseer Chawki, from Iran, was convicted in 2008 of assaulting two women 
  • After his release, he was put in detention while officials tried to deport him
  • But 34-year-old was released in March last year after deportation failed
  • He has now won High Court battle because he was held for seven months too long
An illegal immigrant who committed 'revolting' sex offences on the London Underground could receive a £7,000 payout because he was kept in jail for 'too long' while officials tried to deport him.

Naseer Chawki, who claims to be 34 and from Iran, was detained for more than four years while Home Office officials fought for deportation, after he was convicted of sexually abusing two women on a rush-hour Piccadilly Line train.

But he has now won a High Court battle against Home Secretary Theresa May, after a judge ruled that he had been illegally held for seven months - against his human rights - during that process.

Deputy High Court Judge Stephen Morris said Chawki's payout is yet to be assessed, giving no indication of what the figure would be.

But according to human rights lawyers, the payout given to Chawki could be between £5,000 and £10,000. 

In 2013, a Supreme Court judgment set a precedent that those detained illegally should receive around £1,000 for each month they are held against their human rights.

 It means Chawki can expect to receive around £7,000.

During today's hearing in London, the court heard how Chawki - who has failed in a bid to claim asylum - arrived in Cardiff from Iran in 1999 before moving to Liverpool. He then moved to Seven Sisters, north London.

The court heard how, in November 2008, Chawki was given a three-year jail term for carrying out two sex assaults on the London Underground, as well as possessing a false identity document.

Home Secretary Theresa May (pictured) had claimed Chawki was held because he posed a 'serious risk' to the public but has lost the case 
Home Secretary Theresa May (pictured) had claimed Chawki was held because he posed a 'serious risk' to the public but has lost the case 
Chawki had pleaded guilty to the offences, after he pressed himself against the women on a crowded rush-hour train.

The attacks had been witnessed by commuters and Chawki was later traced using DNA evidence and Oyster card records.

During the hearing over those offences, the court heard how the 'revolting' sex attacks had had 'very lasting effects' on the victims.

Judge Martin Beddoe, who heard the case at Southwark Crown Court, said he would recommend deportation after he had served time in jail for the crimes.

Chawki was then released from jail in December 2009. 

Following an order for his deportation, he was placed in immigration detention, while officials began the process.

But he was released from immigration detention in March last year after attempts to deport him failed.

 He was made to wear a monitoring tag.  

After his release, Chawki launched a legal battle, claiming he had been held in immigration detention when then was 'no prospect' of him being deported.

Mrs May disputed his claim, saying he posed a 'serious risk of harm' and that there was a 'serious risk' that he would abscond.

Judge Morris ruled that detention had been lawful for the majority of the four years and four months Chawki was held.

But he ruled that the detention had been unlawful between mid-September 2013 and March last year.

He said that, by that time, there had been 'no sufficient prospect of removal within a reasonable time'.

During the 2013 case which set the precedent on the issue of payouts, the Court of Appeal held that the Secretary of State had breached the human rights of Mr Faulkner by keeping him in detention for 10 months longer than necessary.

Mr Faulkner was serving a life sentence but had brought the case over the delay in reviewing the need for his further detention, on the grounds of whether it was necessary for public protection.

The Secretary of State was ordered to pay him £10,000 in damages, setting a precedent of around £1,000 in damages per month held unlawfully.  

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