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Sex offender wins compensation bid

Published 30/04/2015

The hearing was at the High Court in London
The hearing was at the High Court in London

A failed asylum-seeker jailed after breaking into a woman's flat, climbing into her bed and sexually assaulting her was wrongly held in immigration detention for around two weeks and is entitled to compensation, a judge has ruled.

Deputy High Court Judge Mark Ockelton was told that Joao da Silva, who is from Angola and in his early 40s, had a serious mental illness.

And he concluded that Mr da Silva should have been removed to a hospital not held in an immigration removal centre during a period of his detention.

The judge said damages would be assessed.

Mr da Silva had taken legal action against Home Secretary Theresa May who disputed his claim.

Judge Ockelton analysed evidence at a High Court hearing in London in October and published a ruling today.

The judge said Mr da Silva had arrived in the UK more than a decade ago after being caught up in a civil war in Angola.

An asylum claim had been refused - and Mr da Silva mounted appeals.

Judge Ockelton said that in late 2010 Mr da Silva had been given a three-year jail term after admitting sexual assault, burglary and theft.

"He committed serious offences," said the judge.

"He followed a woman home, broke into her flat, climbed into her bed and assaulted her."

The judge added: "When she woke and screamed he escaped from the flat taking her laptop with him."

Judge Ockelton said a deportation order had been made - against which Mr da Silva had appealed.

He had been held in immigration detention after serving the jail term.

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