Deporting rapists doesn’t solve anything

// 31 October 2007

A judge has halted the deportation of 20 year-old Mohammed Kendeh, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 2003, and has admitted to 11 cases of assault, reports The Metro.

Last year, the Home Office tried to deport the 20-year-old, saying he would reoffend.

But an immigration judge blocked the attempt, a move which was upheld by Mr Justice Hodge.

The veto comes despite an acknowledgement by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal that Kendeh has a history of ‘serious sexual assault’ and shows a ‘high risk’ of committing further crimes.

On the face of it, the Metro’s outrage is easy to understand: after all, why should a man convicted of sexual assault and considered a high risk for reoffending, be allowed to stroll the streets of south London with impunity? I live in south London, and am less than impressed.

But there is a massive problem with this picture: there is no suggestion that if Kendeh was deported, he would end up in jail. All that would happen would be that the UK would be exporting a sex offender to attack and possibly rape women in Sierra Leone.

Does the Metro really think it is wrong for Kendeh, who has lived in the UK since the age of six, to attack women in the UK, but just fine for him to attack them in Sierra Leone? Actually, that wouldn’t surprise me at all, bearing in mind the slew of anti-immigrant stories in today’s edition (including a breathless report saying that half of new jobs go to immigrants, to which I say: so what?).

The real question is not ‘why hasn’t this man been deported?’ it is ‘why did the UK criminal justice system let him go free?’

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