Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Somalian woman loses bid for payout

A 22-year-old Somalian woman who claimed that she was wrongly prosecuted after fleeing to the UK to escape a civil war has lost a human rights compensation fight.

The woman was charged with possessing a false identity document after flying into Stansted in December 2009 - and remanded in custody pending trial.

But in June 2010 she was given asylum, a prosecution was discontinued at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court and she was freed.

The woman - who told immigration officials that she had been "advised to come to the UK" - claimed that her mental health had suffered while she was in custody.

And she argued that the decision to prosecute had been an unlawful interference with her right to respect for private life.

But a High Court judge ruled against her in 2013 - concluding that the decision to prosecute was not a human rights breach and in accordance with the law.

And the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal after a hearing in London.

Appeal judges told how the woman had left Somalia - after her parents were killed and she was raped and assaulted during attacks by a rival clan - and travelled to the UK via the Netherlands.

"(She) arrived in Holland on Christmas Day 2009," said one judge, Lord Justice Pitchford.

"The appellant flew from Eindhoven to Stansted on 27 December 2009, the day after her 18th birthday.

"Her travel document was examined by (an) immigration officer ... Neither the name nor the photograph matched the appellant."

The judge said the woman, who was not named in a written appeal court ruling, had claimed asylum.

"She told (an) immigration officer ... that she had come from Somalia for her safety. There was a war in Somalia," he added.

"Asked why she had not claimed asylum in Holland, the appellant said she knew nothing about Holland and had been advised to come to the UK."


From Belfast Telegraph