Battersea man spared Jamaica deportation says he 'just wants to be free'

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Battersea man spared Jamaica deportation says he 'just wants to be free'

Postby Community Editor » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:31 am

A Battersea man granted a last-minute reprieve just hours before he was due to be deported to Jamaica said he is desperate to be free and get on with his life.

Tajay Thompson served half of a 15-month sentence in 2015 after he was convicted of possessing the Class A drugs crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply as a 17-year-old.

Now 23, Mr Thompson said he arrived in Britain aged five and lives with his mother and younger brother in Battersea having only visited Jamaica twice on holiday since.

He was due to be on Tuesday's deportation flight to Jamaica, but was protected from forced removal at the last minute after a High Court ruling on Monday night.

The cases Mr Thompson, as well as seven others who were due to be deported to Jamaica are being reviewed by the Home Office after fresh legal representations were made.

He remains in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre near Heathrow Airport where he had been awaiting the flight, telling the PA news agency: "I feel happy but also I don't. I'm still stuck here.

"I want to be free, I want to be with my family and carry on my life but I can't.

"I don't know what is going on. I was told I was going on the flight, then my ticket was cancelled."The atmosphere was very low yesterday but it is very lively right now.

"Some of the other people here were told they were going but haven't, or they were brought back from the plane."

Nabeela Arshad, one of the lawyers at Duncan Lewis Solicitors who worked on Mr Thompson's case, told PA his deportation order had been revoked and he had been given the chance to remain in the UK while they proceed with a request for a judicial review.

Lawyers are applying for him to be released on bail in the mean time, and hope at some point to help him secure permanent leave to remain in the UK, she added.

Mr Justice Mostyn, sitting in the Queen's Bench Division Administrative Court, granted the application of interim relief which ordered Mr Thompson was "not to be removed from jurisdiction pending the determination of his application for permission to seek judicial review" after saying his claim appeared to "have merit".

Mr Thompson previously said: "I feel like I was born here. Jamaica is not my country."It's not like I'm a rapist or a murderer, I've made a mistake when I was 17 and it's now going to affect my whole life."

He told how he was groomed by a gang and forced to sell drugs as a teenager, and has not reoffended since his release around six years ago. 

Photo: Campaigners outside Downing Street
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