DRUG SMUGGLER INJURED IN STRUGGLE AS HE WAS BEING DEPORTED WINS £48K IN HIGH COURT DAMAGES!
Asylum seeker Felix Wamala, 46, sued a company working for the Home Office over the use of force on Christmas Eve in 2011.
Mr Wamala was taken from detention and put on a flight from Heathrow to Qatar to connect with an onward service to Uganda – his home country – but a struggle occurred on board and the captain refused to carry him.
Mr Justice Walker said in a ruling made public yesterday that Mr Wamala was removed by employees of Tascor Services Ltd – formerly Reliance Secure Task Management Ltd – and dragged into a van and taken to an immigration removal centre.
Mr Wamala claimed he suffered injuries to his hands, wrists, neck, back, shoulders and legs and the incident contributed to a major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The company said it was entitled to use force on Mr Wamala and that he could not complain about injuries – which they said were exaggerated – arising from his own use of unreasonable force.
They argued that mental disorders had arisen from other causes.
The judge concluded that the company had no authority from the UK Border Agency to gain custody of Mr Wamala in the way they did and put him on the flight, adding that the force threatened and used constituted trespass.
He said that the company proceeded with the removal on the flight when it knew or should have known that important legal requirements had not been complied with.
“The CCTV footage of this is shocking,” he added. “Mr Wamala is crying out in pain. He is being shouted at by escorts, but appears plainly incapable of getting up.
“At one stage an escort pulls Mr Wamala into the van by the rear of his trousers … the handcuffs had not been double-locked and thus must have been digging into Mr Wamala’s wrists. The experience was both painful and degrading.”
Mr Wamala came to the UK from Uganda in 1995 and claimed asylum. That was rejected in 1997.
He made a trip to the US under a false name and a false passport and on his return was found to have cocaine in his luggage. He pleaded guilty to smuggling Class A drugs and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.
Mr Wamala was deported in 1999 but returned secretly a few weeks later, saying that he had been tortured in Uganda – which was accepted.
The judge awarded £30,000 damages for his injuries, £8,000 aggravated damages and £10,000 exemplary damages. He remains in the UK while his entitlement to stay is under consideration.
Tory MP Philip Hollobone said last night: “This is yet another crazy judicial ruling in favour of those who commit crime.”
He called on the Government to “take all the steps it could to deport this man”.