A judge has awarded an African refugee who carried out sex attacks a six-figure payout for being locked up for too long.
Aliou Bah, from Guinea, was handed £110,000 compensation by Judge Nicholas Madge for being held unlawfully for 21 months – because his own country refused to take him back.
Even Judge Madge was critical of his own ruling, admitting that he “wholeheartedly” agreed that most people would think that Bah’s victims deserve huge payouts instead.
Bah, 28, has been imprisoned twice for serious assaults – including on a 16-year-old girl – and has also been placed on the sex offenders register.
Immigration officials blocked attempts to deport Bah, who had been granted refugee status, back to his country in West Africa.
Judge Madge ruled Bah must receive damages, saying that he had been forced to uphold the principle that no one should be imprisoned unlawfully in a civilised society.
Conservative MP Peter Bone said the Government said that the public would conclude that “the law is an ass” after hearing about the case.
He said: “It is very difficult to understand why a sex attacker should not be sent home, let alone win a vast amount of public money.
“If he has come to the UK he should live by the rules of the UK. My constituents will quite rightly be outraged at how he has been rewarded despite thoroughly abusing the hospitality of this country.”
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Bah arrived in the UK in 2007 to join his refugee father but was convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in February 2011.
He was jailed for 18 months before being imprisoned again in 2014 for two years over another sex assault.
Theresa May signed a deportation order against Bah in December 2011 when she was Home Secretary – without realising he was entitled to be treated as a refugee.
He was subsequently held in immigration detention unlawfully, from 2012 to 2013 and again from 2014 to 2015 – totalling 21 months.
Judge Madge said that nobody had been successfully deported to Guinea since 2006 as the authorities there refuse to issue travel papers to anyone who does not want to return.
He added that Bah had served punishments for his crimes and blamed the Home Office for his decision to award compensation, saying the department failed to properly apply its own policy.
David Green, of think-tank Civitas, said: “This is a clear case of punishing the Home Office for protecting the public.
“This is perverse and a clear failure of the duty of the courts. It’s not like they have kept him inside for no reason – he is a danger to the public.”
The Home Office said they were now “considering the judgement”, adding “This case does not change the legality of Mr Bah’s status in the UK.”