Britain’s Home Office today proceeded with the deportation of convicted Jamaican criminals despite a last-minute legal challenge.
Mail Online reports: “Plans to remove the detainees, convicted of offences including manslaughter and rape, appeared to have been blocked by a last-ditch court order last night.
“However the flight is believed to have taken off as scheduled at 6.30am today, while carrying a number of convicted criminals from two detention centres near Heathrow.
“Last night, a Court of Appeal judge ordered the government not to deport many of those scheduled for removal amid concerns over their lack of access to legal advice.
“An urgent application argued some of the detainees at the removal centres could not use their phones after an O2 phone mast stopped working in the area.
“With only its navigation lights visible, an aircraft taxis at Stansted airport, before taking-off. Shortly afterwards, the Home Office confirmed that it has proceeded with a planned deportation flight to Jamaica.”
According to the report: “Reshawn Davis, 30, who has a baby with his British wife, was detained on Friday and told he would be removed to Jamaica today following a robbery conviction.
“Lady Justice Simler said detainees should not be removed unless the Home Office is satisfied they ‘had access to a functioning, non-O2 Sim card on or before February 3.
“The flight was scheduled to take about 50 criminals to Jamaica, however it is currently unknown how many were on board the flight that took off this morning.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “We make no apology for trying to protect the public from serious, violent and persistent foreign national offenders.”
“More than 170 MPs had urged the Government to stop the flight, which had been chartered privately by the Home Office.
“Critics said the deportation flight risks repeating errors made in 2018 when migrants from the Caribbean – known as the Windrush generation – were wrongly deported,” the report said.
“No 10 defended the latest deportation attempt.”
An official spokesman said: “It’s correct to say some of those on board are convicted of manslaughter, rape, violence and drug dealing.
“It is long-standing government policy that any foreign national offender sentenced to 12 months or more in prison should be considered for deportation,” he added.
“Thought to be among the deportees are a 23-year-old man, who arrived in Britain aged five, jailed for 15 months for drug offences and a 40-year-old man jailed for seven years for a stabbing.