A serial sex offender from Sierra Leone has been allowed to stay in Britain after a judge ruled that deporting him would breach his human rights.

The decision will be an embarrassment for Gordon Brown, who recently pledged to double the number of foreign criminals sent back to their native countries.

Mohammed Kendeh, 20, who has admitted indecently assaulting 11 women, was assessed by the Home Office as being at “high risk” of re-offending.

But their attempt to deport him was overruled by an immigration judge last year.

The Home Office appealed the decision, but Mr Justice Hodge, president of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, has upheld Kendeh’s right to stay in Britain.

Mr Justice Hodge, who is the husband of the minister Margaret Hodge, said that Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which enshrines the “right to a family life”, meant that the sex attacker could not be deported.

Kendeh, who lives in Peckham, south London, left Sierra Leone at the age of six and has very little family remaining in the troubled West African nation.

His case echoes that of Learco Chindamo, who was convicted of murdering the head teacher Philip Lawrence in 1995.

In August this year, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal ruled that he should not be deported to his home country of Italy.

Chindamo, who was brought here by his mother when he was six years old, does not speak Italian while his family was also in Britain.

Kendeh first went to prison at the age of 15. Over the past five years he has been arrested for robbery, burglary, arson and drugs offences.

Gabrielle Browne, one of the women he attacked, said she felt “devastated and let down” by the judgment.

She believes that Kendeh will attack again.

Mrs Browne, 42, a computer worker and mother of two who lives in south London, waived her right to anonymity to tell how she was attacked in a park while training for the London Marathon in 2003.

How is it right that somebody who has offended so seriously against defenceless women is allowed to remain in this country?” she said. “It is a farce.”

In July, the Prime Minister set a target of deporting 4,000 foreign criminals by the end of the year to ease the prison overcrowding crisis.

The previous target had been 2,000.

Mr Brown said he wanted a message to go out that “if you commit a crime you will be deported from our country”.

Last year Mr Justice Hodge himself said that too many foreign criminals were not being sent home and removing people was a “big, big problem”.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We believe that foreign nationals who commit serious crimes should be deported. This is why we appealed.

“We are disappointed that the courts reached this decision and as a result deportation could not proceed in this case.”

A total of 2,784 foreign criminals were removed or deported between April 2006 and March this year, the Home Office said.

The Prime Minister’s target of deporting 4,000 this calendar year was expected to be met, it added.

 Source

 

Advertisements