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Somali national entitled to damages over bail conditions 'muddle'

Published 09/10/2015

The High Court ruled that Abdiwell Gedi is entitled to damages
The High Court ruled that Abdiwell Gedi is entitled to damages

A man tagged and subjected to a "curfew" while facing deportation after committing violent offences is entitled to damages because of a "muddle" over his bail conditions, the High Court has ruled.

A judge said letters sent to Somalian national Abdiwell Gedi were calculated to ensure that, for a period of nearly four months, he stayed at home between midnight and 6am - "in fear of imprisonment if he did not".

There had been "a muddle", said the judge, and during that period of his detention the curfew constituted false imprisonment, though it was lawful for other periods.

Home Office lawyers had submitted there was no curfew or intention to detain Gedi in his home and the bail conditions were "only a means of monitoring a residence condition".

But Mr Justice Edis, sitting in London, ruled: "This is flatly contradicted by the letters which threaten that there is a curfew and that unless it is complied with a prison sentence may follow".

The judge added: "The tag on his ankle and the equipment in his home demonstrated to him that the secretary of state meant business when issuing those threats."

The judge said it was agreed that damages for false imprisonment would be assessed in the near future.

Gedi came to the UK in June 1998 at the age of eight with his mother and siblings and was subsequently granted indefinite leave to remain, though he never applied for British citizenship.

Previously of good character, he was convicted at the Old Bailey in May 2010 of three offences of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm, one offence of bodily harm with intent and one of dangerous driving. He was jailed for a total of six years and six months in a young offender institution.

The judge said all the offences arose out of a serious incident outside a club frequented by Somalians in London.

In the early hours of the morning, Gedi had left the club and drove a Range Rover at three people, "trying but failing to do them really serious harm".

He drove away but soon returned - "this time succeeding in using the vehicle to cause a fourth man really serious harm".

The Home Secretary started the process of deporting him in February 2013, while he was still in prison. On his release he was initially detained pending his removal.

There was a fresh assessment of his case and a new attempt to deport was announced in December 2014, which Gedi is also resisting.

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